The Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra government to respond to a suo motu PIL wherein the court took cognisance of a news report about the “adventurous journey” of girls from a village in the state’s Satara district who have to row a boat across the Koyna dam every day to reach their school.
On Friday, the bench appointed advocate Sanjeev Kadam as Amicus Curiae in the case to assist the court and file a proper petition. The high court asked the state government to file its reply within a week.
A division bench of Justices Prasanna B Varale and Surendra P Tavade had on January 31 initiated the suo motu PIL and said it came across a report on a digital news portal “which reflects the adventurous journey of children in general and girl child in particular in a village namely, Khirvandi” in Javali taluka of the district.
The news report referred to the girls’ daily routine as part of which they have to undertake a journey by boat to reach school. The high court went on to note the “shocking reality that a small boat is being plied by the girl students themselves. This particular village comes under a protected area. The girl students are supposed to take up the journey in a boat to cross from one end of Koyna Dam to the other end firstly and thereafter, from the other end, a nearly 4 km journey through dense forest. This area is inhabited by wild animals including bears, tigers etc.”
The court had then asked the state government to take all measures to provide necessary assistance to the children. The next hearing in the case will be held after three weeks.