City anchor: Plight of tribal students’ hostels: HC likely to hear PIL today

Its efforts to get government officials to implement, in letter and spirit, a state government resolution (GR) for welfare of tribal students — especially with respect to facilities in hostels — failing to evoke any response, Pune-based Natural Resources Conservators Organisation (NRCO), along with some other organisations, had in November filed a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) in the High Court. The PIL is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

The NRCO found hostels in dire straits and lacking in particular in maintenance, hygiene, proper food, books and other essential articles.

"Even after repeatedly taking up the plight of hostels with officials concerned in the tribal welfare department, there has been no initiative on their part. It is mentioned (in the GR) that there should be 495 hostels for tribal students in the state but only 466 are running. While food, uniform and books are not up to the mark, articles such as table, chair and bedsheets are not maintained. We feel this is a violation of students' rights,'' said NRCO secretary Ravindra Talpe.

He is joined in the petition by the Adivasi Samaj Kruti Samitee president Sitaram Joshi, Adivasi Mahasangh president Genubhau Vaje and Maharashtra Adivasi Seva Sangh president Dattatray Kokate.

PIL (8/2013) filed on November 29 last year was registered on January 9 and will come up for hearing on Wednesday.

They pointed out that the GR of July 11, 1985, needs to be revised to ensure better facilities for Scheduled Tribe students in government hostels. The petitioners stated that before the GR of November 11, there were others issued in 1989, 1999, 2003 and 2004, which decided to bring uniformity in services and facilities provided at government hostels. "If all these are appended to the said GR, for various facilities as well as services to be provided to students at government hostels, it can be seen that they have not been implemented. The GR is not being implemented in letter and spirit,'' states the PIL.

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