Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 28:
Noted human rights activist and lawyer Prabir Kumar Das today moved the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) seeking its intervention in the case of self-immolation bid by Kanakdei Bhatra, a class-X girl student of the Upgraded High School at Ghataguda under Jatabal gram panchayat in Papadahandi block of Nabarangpur district on July 24 due to her parents’ inability to pay her school fees.
Petitioner Das has prayed for a high level inquiry into Kanakdei’s suicide bid as well as into the allegation of collection of excess fee from the students of the Upgraded High School at Ghataguda. He has also prayed that responsibility be fixed and stringent action taken against the officials found guilty.
Referring to the case of Jayanti Nayak alias Banita, a student of class-VII of Aska Government Girls’ High School in Ganjam district who committed suicide on June 25 this year due to her parents’ inability to buy her note-books and pencil, the petitioner said such incidents constitute violation of basic human rights of the minor students hailing from the poor SC/ST families. He has prayed that students who hail from poor (BPL) and SC/ST families should be exempted from all fees while pursuing their education.
While praying for payment of suitable compensation to the victim or her parents, the petitioner said “The fact remains that the State has the constitutional obligations under Articles 39 (f) and 46 to promote educational interest of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes besides its responsibility to provide opportunities and facilities to all children so that they can develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity”.