Ashram schools

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Deaths in ashram schools in Maharashtra

793 deaths in ashram schools across Maharashtra in 10 years

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Sep 4, 2013

The Times of India

MUMBAI: Around 793 children had died in the past decade in ashram schools across Maharashtra, the Bombay high court was informed on Tuesday. A division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice P N Deshmukh expressed its dissatisfaction at the measures taken by the government in tackling such deaths. The court said that the lives of the children studying in ashram schools were at great risk.

The court has directed the state government to ensure that at least one medical officer was available in the vicinity of every ashram school. The court has also given the state time till September 13 to fill up 185 vacant posts in ashram schools. The petitioner Nashik resident Ravindra Talpe who filed the public interest litigation on the condition of ashram schools was asked by the court to file an affidavit to suggest remedial measures to prevent such deaths.

Around 4.50 lakh students, mostly tribal children, are placed in around 1,100 ashram residential schools in the state. The state said that many of the children had died due to snake bites, scorpion bites, fever and minor illness. Over 453 parents were given ex-gratia payment, while 340 parents have yet to be disbursed the ex-gratia amount for the deaths of the children.

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