Just a few months ago, citizens across India banged utensils on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to thank COVID warriors. But, now parents have decided to use PM Modi's idea to protest against the government over exorbitant school fees amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Parents and students will stage a nationwide 'thali bajao' protest on October 10. The protest is being organised to draw the attention of the education department. They want the authorities to act against private schools that are charging exorbitant fees at a time when almost everyone is facing major financial crisis. The Forum of Fairness in Education (FFE), an NGO which has been helping parents with the fee woes, has said that the protest will be held on October 10 between 7 am to 7.05 am.
For the past few months, owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and the subsequent job loss and pay cuts have burdened many families who are facing financial crisis. The parents of students enrolled in private unaided schools of Mumbai have demanded that schools reduce additional fees, as the latter's expenses have dropped since classes have moved online. Apart from financial restraints, parents are also protesting against the demand to pay fees for digital education. Parents say bus fees, library, laboratory, canteen, extra-curricular activities and infrastructure maintenance charges should be reduced or not charged, as these services are not being provided to students in virtual classrooms.
PM Modi, in March, had asked citizens to beat steel plates or ring bells as way of expressing gratitude towards those risking their lives and working tirelessly during the coronavirus outbreak. But, looks like the Prime Minister is getting taste of his medicine, where people are using his idea of 'thali bajao' to protest against the government.