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New Government Primary School to be set up at Ambedkar Nagar Slum, Banjara Hills

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 clearly directs the states to establish schools within walking distance of one km of the neighbourhood for children of class I to V. For children of class VI to VIII there must be a school within 3 kilometres. But Hyderabad District Education Department has often failed to ensure it in the true spirit. In many localities in Hyderabad children do not have access to Government schools in their neighbourhoods.

Ambedkar Nagar slum is situated in Banjara Hills, just behind the famous Hamed Khan Kunta Lake or the Taj Banjara Lake. In Ambedkar Nagar and six other slums in the locality, approximately 800 children, 500 girls and 300 boys, do not have access to a school within three kilometres radius of their neighbourhood. Some of these slums are more than 40 years old. Children here belong mostly to the Minority, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities. Their parents are daily wage labourers. The few private schools that run in the locality demand excessive fees. The parents who earn meager wages cannot afford these schools. Further, due to inaccessibility of government schools in the area parents have no option but to keep their children at home unschooled. As a result majority of the children in the locality are missing out on formal education.

In view of the above, Basthi Vikas Manch (BVM) filed a complaint before the Lokayukta for establishing a school in the area in 2014. After around 20 court hearings and three physical inspections by various officials in the last two years, on 20th April this year, a Government land of area 1105 sq. yd. was identified as a feasible site for a Government school. The site that has been identified is on Road No. 15 of Banjara Hills near Ambedkar Nagar slums. Joint Collector, Hyderabad District, District Education Officer (DEO), Hyderabad District, and Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO), Shaikpet Mandal conducted an inspection jointly.