JORHAT, May 16 - Fourteen students of Jorhat Blind School, the only visually-impaired government educational institute under the Social Welfare Department in upper Assam, have left the school for non-availability of curriculum books, shortage of teachers and basic amenities.
Inferior quality of water supply to the school, lack of repair and renovation of school and hostel buildings were other problems that the students were facing for a long time, admitted a district administration source.
The students have been protesting against the government’s apathy for the past one year and have been meeting top district administration officials in this regard, but all in vain.
The 14 students (eight boys and six girls) after reportedly “being fed up with empty promises” of the government left the school on Monday (May 14).
When contacted, the Jorhat District Social Welfare Officer, who is also holding charge of the post of principal of the school, Sangita Borthakur, told The Assam Tribune that all the students have been tracked by the Jorhat police after the police were informed about them (students) leaving the institute uninformed.
The Social Welfare Department official said that all the students were reported to be safe. Borthakur said that some were found staying at the homes of their relatives in the district and some went to their own homes within and outside Jorhat district.
She said that parents of some students have come here on Wednesday and have taken their children back along with them.
Regarding the grievances, Borthakur said that she was informed by a top official of her department in Guwahati on May 9 that Braille books for the students were in the process of printing and were expected to be available within 15 days (from May 9).
On lack of amenities in the school, Borthakur said that last year, her office submitted a Rs 1.2-crore proposal to carry out major repair works for school and hostel buildings to the higher authorities of her Department in Dispur.
She added that in January this year, another proposal of Rs 6 lakh for carrying out minor repair works was submitted by her office to the higher authorities of Social Welfare Department. Both proposals are yet to be sanctioned.
Borthakur has appealed to the parents/guardians to send back their children to the school as senior officials of her department have assured to do the needful at the earliest.