In a response filed to a complaint received by the National Commission for Minorities, New Delhi, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) School Board has put the entire onus on the school management committees for deciding green uniform for Muslim students and saffron for Hindu students in its two English medium municipal schools in Ahmedabad.
In the reply, it has described the uniform colours as “pista green” and “bright orange” and given out the exact number of Hindu and Muslim students studying in each of the schools.
Following the news report by The Indian Express on April 14 on how Shahpur Public School has saffron and Danilimda Public School has green uniforms depending on the majority percentage of the community represented in each school, a complaint was filed by a Delhi-based activist Shehzad Poonawalla, with the National Commission for Minorities, New Delhi, on the same day.
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To which, AMC Commissioner D Thara has filed a reply on April 17 claiming that the management committees of these two schools decided pista green uniform for Danilimda Public School and bright orange for Shahpur Public School.
The response states, “Ahmedabad Municipal School Board has been running the Shahpur English medium school number-1 for the last two years. The school has classes from KG section to Standard-II with 233 students (218 students are belonging to Hindu religion and 15 are Muslims).”
Similarly, for the other school, it states, “Danilimda Public School is conducting English Medium wherein total students are 254, out of which 210 are belonging to Muslim religion and 44 are Hindus.”
Despite the AMC School Board being the final authority taking the decision, it has blamed the school management committees for this disparity, where as per the AMC’s response, the school principal is also a member. “School management committees consist of members, school principal, donors and selected parents. Each school has one such committee. The school management committees play a vital role for implementation of infrastructure, teaching material and including uniform dresses.”
Further explaining, it said, “In the present case also, as per the above norms, the management committee of Shahpur School has decided the uniform colour (pista green) whereas management committee of Danlimida School has preferred pista green colour uniform to the respective school students. AMC School Board has neither decided any colour code for students’ uniform nor given any dress to them. It is decided by the respective committees of the schools.”
There is no information on when these committees were formed and when these decisions were taken. It is to be noted that the Shahpur Public School students were distributed saffron uniform even before the school was inaugurated as they wore the uniforms right on the inauguration day (June 6, 2013) as reported by The Indian Express on June 7, 2013.