‘Sometimes I had to miss classes if it got too cold because I had no sweater’

Having failed to get a supplier for sweaters for school students, the Uttar Pradesh government recently decentralised the process, making School Management Committees responsible for the procurement and distribution of sweaters. Having gone through much of winter without sweaters, students in the state’s government schools have finally got one

Written by AVANEESH MISHRA | Published: January 21, 2018 3:09:04 am
SAPNA YADAV Class 5 student in a Lucknow primary school

1 Do you like your new sweater?

Yes, red is my favourite colour. But this sweater is not very warm and I still feel cold sometimes, but at least I have something to wear to school. I had asked my mother to buy me a new sweater and she had promised me one, but she never had enough money. Now she won’t have to worry about me… She doesn’t have a sweater herself.

2 What does your mother do?

She works as a helper at a local private hospital. She does not earn much. My father passed away when I was very young. I don’t know what happened to him. At home, it is just me, my mother and my elder brother. He works as a driver.

3 When did you get this new sweater?

Only the day before yesterday (January 16). Last year, we got blue sweaters. Ma’am told us that an NGO had given us the blue ones.

4 Did you have to pay for this new sweater?

No, we got it for free. We had got the blue one for free too. (While the government says schools have been given Rs 200 per sweater, Sapna’s school, at Gaderiyan Purva in Gosaiganj block of Lucknow, said they had only got the initial instalment of Rs 100. Other schools in the area too said they hadn’t got the full money and that they were either using their own money to fund the purchase or taking sweaters on hire.)

5 How many sweaters do you have in all?

Three. Before I got the red and blue sweaters from school, I had just one sweater, which my mother bought me many years ago. That’s very old and I couldn’t wear it to school. Sometimes I had to miss classes if it got too cold.

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