Hearing that his mother’s students were finding it difficult to pay their CBSE exam fee, the eight-year old son of a Delhi government school teacher gave away his birthday money to pay the fees for five of them.
“My son Adhiraj heard me speaking to my students on the phone and asked me what it was about. When I told him, he asked me how we can help. So while we have just started a fundraiser with Milaap, he also said he would give the money in his piggybank. He had gotten money from us, his grandparents and other relatives on his birthday in April in lieu of a birthday party. Since I know the circumstances of my students, I made sure it went towards five students who have the most difficult conditions,” said Meenakshi Singh Sejwal, a class XII class teacher at a Delhi government school in South Delhi’s Begumpur.
On Sunday, The Indian Express had reported that since many Delhi government school students are finding it hard to pay the hefty CBSE exam fee this year, different stakeholders such as teachers, principals, School Management Committee (SMC) members and parent associations, are trying to raise funds to help the neediest of these children.
Among the five students who received help from Adhiraj is one who is still with her family in Bihar where they had returned during the lockdown, another who does not have a smartphone to attend her online classes, and two others whose mothers are domestic helps and are left without work after the lockdown.
Sejwal said around 90% of her class have not yet paid their fees, and many are paying in installments. The fees, which were increased last year, is over Rs 2,000 for most students. Last year, this fee had been paid by the Delhi government but it will not be doing so this year.
In the meantime, some students continue to appeal to the Delhi government to cover the fee for them. On Saturday, a group of around 30 students participated in a protest at Jantar Mantar in their school uniforms, demanding that either the fees be waived off or covered for them.
A group of 15 class XII girl students have also drafted an open letter to Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
“Dear Education Minister, I pray to you that you will waive our fees this year, also because this time many parents have lost their jobs in lockdown and at this time, the basic needs of the house are being met with great difficulty. If you do so, I and many of my friends will be able to give our class 12 papers and fulfill our dreams,” read the letter, shared by Laxmi, one of the students.
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