The Bombay High Court has asked the government to apprise it about the status of the pending proposal before the Social Justice Department regarding construction of a hostel in Andhari-Kas village in Satara which can be used by the girls from a nearby Khirkhindi village to facilitate their schooling.
At present, the girls from Khirkhindi have to travel by a boat in the Koyana backwater and then walk through forest to reach their school daily.
A division bench of justices PB Varale and SD Kulkarni sought government’s response while hearing a suo moto (on its own) public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue. The HC had taken Suo moto cognisance of the media report highlighting How the students of Khirkhindi village in Satara district have to travel by a boat in the Koyana backwater and then walk through forest to reach their school.
During the hearing on June 16, advocate Sanjeev Kadam, who was appointed as amicus curie (friend of the court), informed the court that he had personally visited the villages – particularly village Andhari-Kas, and Khirkhandi. As a temporary measure, minister Eknath Shinde has made a motorboat available to enable the girls to cross the river, but this would be a sort of a temporary measure.
He learnt that there is a Zilla Parishad School at village Andhari-Kas which provides education up-to Class 7. There is also approved private school (grant-in-aid) providing education up-to Class 12.
He further submitted that the institution running private school had already submitted an application to the State Government for seeking permission to construct hostel which is pending before the Social Justice Department.
The HC has asked Kadam to file an affidavit in two weeks detailing his submissions. The HC has directed the government to file its reply within two weeks thereafter.
“We direct the State Government to make a statement in the backdrop of pending proposal before the Social Justice Department. The State Government is also directed to make a statement before this Court whether the State Government under any of its scheme or with the aid of the Central Government’s Scheme can make some provision of residential accommodation in the premises of the Zilla Parishad School itself,” noted the HC.
The HC has kept the matter for hearing on July 14.