More than four decades after it was demolished, the four-storey Qaumi Senior Secondary School’s request for land bore fruit, with the Delhi High Court Monday asking the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to give 4,000 square yards of land for an Urdu medium school for students.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao also asked the DDA to complete all formalities with regard to the land in three months, and give possession to the Delhi government.
The bench added that the Delhi government and various other agencies should cooperate to build a top-class Urdu medium school at a vacated slaughterhouse site, earlier earmarked for a parking lot. Some portion of the Shahi Eidgah at Quresh Nagar is also supposed to be given for the school.
The bench remarked that “one should keep in mind the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009”. The agencies agreed to it and ensured the court that they will abide by its order.
Forty-two years ago, the minority school that catered to children from Sadar Bazar was one of many buildings razed to the ground. While residents of the area were shifted to Inderlok, the school was replaced in a DDA colony and never got another land or building. Since then, it has been running from the premises of the Eidgah.
As reported by The Indian Express in 2017, the small space at the end of the Eidgah is divided into 13 compartments with wooden desks and chairs. These compartments, each with a fan, are the only facility that the school can provide to its students. As a result, students end up studying in the open muddy floor space, whatever be the weather.
Due to lack of space, classes VI to XII are held in the morning, and the primary classes are held in the evening. When students need to use the washroom, they have to make do with the one attached to the mosque. There are 700 students and 35 teachers at the school.
The land was allotted after the L-G gave approval for the same. It had directed DDA to allot land to the Directorate of Education (DoE), so a modern Urdu-medium school could come up.
Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose also said the education minister has directed the education department to ensure that all infrastructure is made available to make the school world class.
Taking note of this, the HC disposed of the PIL filed by activist Firoz Bakht Ahmed, which had demanded that the government construct a new building for the school “as promised when the government of 1976 had levelled the ground where it once stood”.
The High Court took note of the “shocking state of affairs” at the school, and directed the Delhi government to resolve the issue of land.