Uttar Pradesh govt fails to complete sweater distribution in schools for second year in a row

first_imgWinters have started but lakhs of students studying in schools under the basic education department are forced to attend classes without wearing sweaters because the state government has once again failed to complete the distribution on time.The figures released by the government show that more than 50 lakh students have still been left out in the cold due to the delay.The UP government promised it would complete distributing sweaters in more than 1.6 lakh schools by October 31. Out of more than 1.57 crore children studying in schools falling under the basic education department, around 38 per cent are still waiting to get sweaters and continue to shiver because of the state government’s unpreparedness and mismanagement.India Today did a reality check at a primary school in Madiyaon area of Lucknow where the distribution of sweaters hasn’t even started.Speaking to India Today, Mohit a student of Class 5 said, “We come in the morning at 8:30 am to school. We haven’t been given sweaters as promised. We are feeling the cold. The school management has also not given any assurance on the distribution so far.”Another student Chandni who studies in Class 4 said, “The winters have already started and we are waiting to get sweaters from the government. No one in the school has got a sweater. We are forced to shiver.”In another school in Madiyaon area, some children have been given sweaters but many still await theirs.Speaking to India Today, Arun a student of Class 8 said, “I was given a sweater four days ago. The distribution of sweaters started in our school on November 16.”advertisementIn Etawah district, only 50 per cent of all students have received sweaters from school authorities.A student studying at a primary school in Luhanna area said, “I am not wearing a sweater because the school authorities have not distributed them. We feel cold and winters have already started.”Kavita Rajput, the primary school’s principal said, “Out of 180 students studying in the school, 80 have got sweaters. We will commence the distribution after receiving the remaining amount from the government.”In Fatehpur district, distribution of sweaters has only been completed among 45 per cent of the beneficiaries.Sonali, a student at a primary school in the district said, “When we come to school in the morning we shiver because of the cold. The teachers have assured us that the distribution will take place soon.”Basic education officer of Fatehpur district Shivendra Pratap Singh said, “Around 45 per cent of the distribution is complete. The progress is being monitored on a daily basis and hopefully the distribution will finish soon.”In Bijnor district, a majority of students have not been given sweaters by the school management. They are wearing old sweaters to protect themselves from the cold.Aman, a student at a primary school said, “The school have not provided us with sweaters yet. Winters have started and we are forced to wear old sweaters to protect ourselves from the chilly air.”Meanwhile the morning scene at Pilibhit district in Uttar Pradesh clearly exposes the insensitivity of the district administration. At Beesalpur block, a sports tournament was organised in which hundreds of students participated without sweaters while the district officers attending the event were seen in their woollens.A student who participated in the event said, “We have come here to participate but winter has started. We are facing problems but the school has not provided us sweaters.”Last year, the state government only managed to complete the distribution by February leaving lakhs of students shiver in the extreme cold conditions.Targeting the state government, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Juhi Singh said, “Last year also the students were shivering and the minister in-charge had put the onus on district magistrates. This year also there has already been a lot of delay. UP CM Yogi Adityanath should focus more on governance because people are ready to teach BJP a lesson in upcoming elections.”Responding to the delay, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “I want to ask why is it the previous government never thought about shivering school children? Last year there was a delay, this year the majority of distribution of sweaters has been done and 100 percent target will be achieved soon. The Yogi Adityanath government is highly sensitive towards improving the quality of education.”Funds not transferred a major reason for delay in sweater distributionAfter failing to get a suitable dealer and negotiating on price, the Uttar Pradesh government decentralised the process to procure and distribute sweaters. The school management committee was assigned the responsibility to purchase and distribute sweaters.advertisementIn most of the schools, the teachers said they have still not received funds to distribute sweaters but due to pressure from the department, they have purchased sweaters from the market out of their own pockets. The teachers in most of the schools have accepted that the delay in the transfer of funds by the government is the biggest obstacle in distributing sweaters. According to the government, the price per sweater should not exceed Rs 200.Not even half of total sweaters distributedAccording to the figures released by the director of the state’s basic education department Sarvendra Vikram Singh, 17 districts have failed to distribute even 50 per cent sweaters till November 19. The lowest distribution has taken place in Siddharth Nagar district where only 19.38 per cent sweaters have been distributed.This is followed by Mathura, Aligarh, Sonbhadra, Lalitpur, Shahjahanpur and Sitapur district where nly 30-35 per cent students have received sweaters till date.The figures given by UP government claims that 63.33 percent students across the state have been given sweaters so far.Also read: UP government considering renaming Allahabad State University: Deputy CMAlso read: Sadhus miffed with PM Modi over delay in Ram temple, serve ultimatumWatch: So Shayari: So this is why CM Yogi is changing city nameslast_img

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