To protest the decision of the Mirambika Free Progress School to shift its students twice in the last three months, angry parents have now decided to sit on an indefinite dharna outside the school premises.
Last week, the school’s 150 students were shifted to an unauthorised and under-construction building located on the premises of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, parents alleged.
“Our children have been shifted yet again, after the summer vacations, to a shoe box building that is under construction. It is an illegal construction as it resides above a kitchen which has a gas pipeline running through it. How can I send my child to such an unsafe environment? Even the Delhi Development Authority has acknowledged that there is no problem with the original building. Why such a delay then? We are demanding that our children be immediately transferred to a safe environment,” Sanhita Dasgupta, a parent, said.
The students were shifted for the first time on April 14, allegedly without any prior notice or explanation,to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. According to the parents, the children were shifted to pave the way for an engineering college being constructed by the Sri Aurobindo Education Society (SAES) on the premises.
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The parents had filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, alleging that the move was illegal and demanding that the children be shifted to the original building. The court, on May 6, ordered a stay on the construction of the engineering college.
“However, on the day the school reopened, SAES again illegally moved the children out despite the matter being sub-judice. We were shocked to find that our children were expected to attend school in an under-construction site, located illegally above a shopping arcade,” another parent said.
The parents have also questioned the unwillingness of school authorities to shift the students to the original premises, even after they were served a showcause notice by the DDA.
“The DDA issued a showcause notice to SAES on June 23, questioning the latter’s decision to construct an engineering college on the 9.84 acres Mirambika originally occupied till April 13. The DDA also acknowledged that it was aware that Mirambika had been running on the premises during that time. If DDA has no problem with this, what problem does the school have,” another parent said.
The parents also claimed the school authorities had made no effort to reach out to them. “The most disappointing thing has been the school’s attitude. We have been sitting here since Thursday, and no one from the school has come forward to hear our side,” a parent said.
School authorities could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts.