The plot of the popular movie, “Hindi Medium” is not at all fictitious, as parents in Ahmedabad are feigning to be poor so as to get their ward admitted to renowned schools. To prevent this violation of the Right to Education, half a dozen schools in Ahmedabad have hired detective agencies to ensure that the documents submitted under RTE act are actually legitimate.
Yogesh Shridhar, from the prestigious school Tulip, has revealed that in previous checks by the school; it was found that parents who had registered under RTE act, possessed multiple vehicles including four -four-wheelers, had Air Conditioners in their bedrooms and fathers that earned up to Rs 30,000. Hence, to prevent this from repeating, they have now hired detectives to run background checks. The RTE act holds 25% reservation for children coming from poor-socioeconomic backgrounds with a yearly income of less than 1.5 lakh.
Kamal Mangal of Anandi Niketan school, had similar complaints. He disclosed that previously it was found that families masquerading to be poor, had monthly incomes of Rs 50,000 and a house full of luxuries. Hence, to verify the veracity behind the documents of families, they too have taken help from a proper agency.
He further added that those 25% of the seats rightfully belong to the poor, and it is unlawful and immoral of anyone else to steal their RTE.
President of Progressive School Management Association (PSMA) and member of Udgam School, Manan Chowksi said that they had also written to the State Government to put a system against protection from these fake admissions. And requested for some kind of framework to be constructed to take action against such cases.
While about 50 complaints have been made to the DEO about the fraudulent admissions, so far, no admission has been canceled yet except in one case the DEO found the documents were fake, as the family had claimed to earn 1.5 lakh a year, but their income tax return showed a figure of 4.5 lakh. An FIR was filed against this family who sought to get admission in Anand Niketan.
The DEO of Ahmedabad, Hitendra Padheriya said that they had received complaints from three schools regarding RTE admission this year. He further revealed that the families who had allegedly misrepresented will be summoned for hearing and action will be taken if they are declared guilty.
Amid all this, one party who is definitely benefitting is the detective agencies. One agency, who wished to be anonymous, said that they had got business from six schools in Ahmedabad and three from Gandhinagar. Schools pay a lump sum amount to agencies in return for their services.