GHMC officials say they have encroached the park on Jubilee Hills.

School providing free education in Hyd open park faces shutdown
news Education Friday, August 03, 2018 - 11:59


For the last few days, confusion and tension have been prevailing in Alpha School, an open school for the deprived in Jubilee Hills road, Hyderabad. An official from the Department of Horticulture wing of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), has been frequenting the school, threatening the school faculty to vacate the premises, alleging ‘nuisance’.

“For the past three days, a person claiming to be a GHMC officer has been continuously harassing us to vacate the school. Where will these students go if the school is shut down?” asks Shoba Rani, the school principal.

Juxtaposed with plush bungalows, the unrecognized school, functioning in an unused society park, provides free education to students of parents who work as watchmen and domestic workers in Jubilee Hills. It has a strength of 80 students currently.

Incidentally, the English-medium school, which started in a tiny shelter on the pavement in 2000, was razed down by the GHMC authorities in July 2015, as they had encroached the pavement.  

Nevertheless, after approaching the High Court, Child Rights Commission, Human Rights Commission and several other bodies, the GHMC had given permission to run the school in the unused park.

This new ‘threat’ comes after three years. “This person has not given us a valid reason. He was accompanied by two security guards. And, when I insisted that we will not vacate, he said that he has filed a police complaint,” says Shoba.

Fearing shutdown, Shoba has approached the State Human Rights Commission for its intervention, yet again.

“We will file a petition in the court case if necessary. I cannot leave these children in the lurch. They will be forced into child labour if they sit at home,” says an undeterred Shoba.
The parents too are determined to protest against the authorities, if the school is demolished. M Saidhulu, a parent, says, “I earn Rs 14,000 working as a watchman. My salary entirely goes towards our family expenses. How can I send my child to a private school? This school is providing free food, stationery, books and school uniform. Besides, this is an English-medium school. If the school is closed down, we will not be able to educate our children.” The GHMC authorities say that since they have encroached upon on the GHMC land, they are forced to evict them.

Speaking to TNM, Deputy Commissioner of GHMC North Zone Division, Radhika, said, “We have not caused any problem to the students. We have been exercising caution and appealing them to leave the premises since they have encroached the park. The students can be enrolled in a government school.”

However, the worried parents claim that there are no government schools in the vicinity. “There is no government school here. All the schools are in the radius of 3-5 kms in Madhapur and Yousufguda,” says another parent.