‘Houses of Horror’: Women’s Panel Finds Needles and Drugs at MCD-Run Schools

Some of the schools run by the MCD are “houses of horror”, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) noted after carrying out a surprise inspection and finding them without adequate safety and sanitation facilities.

In one of the school premises that DCW inspected on May 20 and 21, the panel claimed to have found syringes, drugs, cigarette cases, gutkha wrappers and even liquor bottles broken.

The inspection came days after the panel launched an exercise to check the safety and security of students in schools after two girls were allegedly sexually assaulted at a school run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in Bhajanpura at the beginning of the month.

Bhai Mandeep Nagpal Nigam Vidhyalaya, Aruna Nagar (North), Nigam Pratibha Sah Shiksha Vidhyalaya, Kewal Park (North), Purvi Dilli Nagar Nigam Pratibha Vidhyalaya, Mustafabad (East) and Dakshini Dilli Nagar Nigam Prathmik Sah Bal Balika Vidhyalaya, Sanjay Colony, Bhati Mines (South) are the schools that were inspected.

DCW said its teams found the doors to those four schools open and there were no security guards.

After finding syringes, drugs and broken alcohol bottles among other substances on the Kewal Park school premises, the panel said it recommended an urgent FIR be filed at this topic.

Most school buildings were badly damaged and unsafe for children, he added.

“Parts of the ceiling and walls fell several times in Aruna Nagar school and there were several near misses. At Bhati Mines, children were forced to sit in the shade of tin in scorching heat,” he noted.

The DCW observed that the schools did not have a single operational CCTV camera and that the toilets were extremely dirty.

“In addition, there were several toilet doors that were broken or could not be locked from the inside, raising serious concerns about the safety and privacy of children. In Bhati Mines school , the girls’ toilets were locked, and boys and girls were forced to defecate in the open, as there was no water connection in the toilets,” he alleged.

Furthermore, the panel said that the four schools were overcrowded and it was clear that standards for the teacher-student ratio were not being met.

“DCW has been informed that MCD is running summer school for children studying at its schools from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. However, lunch is not currently being served at any of its schools,” it said. he declares. During the inspection it was also found that suitable benches were not available in the schools.

The civic body, in a statement, responded to the allegations, saying a broken syringe was found due to the existence of a society dispensary near the school in Keval Park.

He also said that the MCD school in Bhati Mines is struggling to provide sound facilities as it is located on forest department land, while the company school in Aruna Nagar will soon be renovated.

As the Bhati Mines School building is located on Forest Department land, construction of a permanent building is not permitted there.

The school is facing a water issue as Delhi Jal Board could not provide water connection. However, the company has so far arranged water supply to a nearby temple and permission to install a borehole has been obtained from the District Magistrate (DM) South. This will help to permanently solve the water supply problem in the school, according to the statement.

No less than 12 CCTV cameras have also been installed in the school premises, which are often damaged due to the threat of monkeys. It is for this reason that the CCTV cameras were not found to be in working order on May 21, 2022 when the team visited the school, the statement said.

As the MCD dispensary is close to the school located in Keval Park, packages of gutkha, broken syringes and cigarette butts were found there. A vaccination camp was organized on May 20, 2022 and the syringes used during the vaccination were carelessly discarded in the school, the statement said.

The gutkha wrapper and cigarette butts found were the result of the careless attitude of the public visiting the vaccination camp held at the school, he claimed.

The MCD is making efforts to improve the condition of the school building there, the statement said.

DCW has notified the MCD Commissioner and requested a detailed action report by May 30.

He also asked for details of those responsible for the “dismal” state of the schools and asked the MCD to take action against them.

“These schools are houses of horror where the students and teachers are extremely dangerous. How can a school exist without a security guard and CCTV? In today’s world, MCD runs schools where girls are forced to defecate in the open!

“So much for the Total Sanitation campaign! The situation is extremely alarming and urgent action must be taken to safeguard the future of children,” said DCW leader Swati Maliwal.

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