Following the complaint by a city-based NGO, and the publication of a report “Govt school named Harijanvas Prathmik Shala; local NGO raises objection, writes to minister Vora” in The Indian Express on January 13, the local administration as well as the education department have rechristened the name of a government school in Dhima village under Vav taluka in Banaskantha district.
The board with the objectionable name was removed from the school on Sunday. Instead, the school will now be called as B R Ambedkar Prathmik Shala, Dhima.
“The District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) has been asked to remove the school board and ensure the name is changed. Also, he has been asked to identify those who were responsible for this lapse and issue a show cause notice,” Banaskantha collector Dilip Rana confirmed while speaking with The Indian Express.
After orders of changing the school’s name were received from Banaskantha district collector, the District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) B A Chaudhary ordered to remove the school board and asked the school administration to change the name.
“As we received orders from the collector office we immediately ordered to remove the objectionable name from the school. This has also been complied with as the board has been taken off,” said DPEO Banaskantha B A Chaudhary.
Another major development was the school name has been changed to B R Ambedkar Prathmik Shala, Dhima. A resolution in this regard was passed on January 15 after a meeting of the School Management Committee (SMC) was chaired by SMC member S M Chauhan.
“A meeting on the issue of changing the school’s name was chaired by SMC member S Chauhan on January 15 at 9 am. As the school’s name is ‘Harijanvas Prathmik Shala’ and the word ‘Harijan’ is against the state government’s notification and central government’s rules there was a discussion on changing the school name. At the end of the discussion, it was unanimously decided to keep the school’s name as B R Ambedkar Prathmik Shala, Dhima,” the resolution passed by the village SMC stated.
The Indian Express has reported that there were objections to naming the government school as ‘Harijanvas Prathmik Shala’ in Dhima village in Banaskantha district. A city-based non-government organisation, Navsarjan had also sent a written complaint to the minister of social justice and empowerment Ramanlal Vora in this matter.
The complaint had sought action against officials for naming the school against the state government’s notification of January 12,1999 that does not permit reference to persons of scheduled caste as ‘harijan’ and scheduled tribe as ‘girijan’, the NGO Navsarjan has complained to the minister as well as concerned officials of the social justice and empowerment department and asked for immediate withdrawal of the school’s name.
“We appreciate the state government’s prompt action on the complaint,” said Kireet Rathod from NGO Navsarjan.
This was brought to the notice of the NGO during a recent visit to the village for a project. As per the records available, the school building is a newly constructed one and operational with this name for the last two years. There are nearly 50-55 students enrolled in this lower primary school running from Class I till V. As per a state government notification issued on January 12,1999, the use of word ‘harijan’ has to be replaced by scheduled caste.