‘Will The RTE Deliver Free Education For Our Children?’

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Roma | 30 | Parent 
New Delhi

“I was never educated and my husband has studied upto class five. So we both felt it is very important for our children Neha and Gaurav to study,” says Roma, Photo: Tarun Sehrawat

I am an only child and my parents died when I was very young. I was never educated though I learnt how to sign my name from a woman in whose house I worked in Delhi. My husband has studied upto class five. So we both felt it is very important for our children Neha and Gaurav to study. We’ll do whatever it takes. Without education you end up being dependant. A few days ago, the gas delivery man came and gave me someone else’s bill. I didn’t know it wasn’t our bill till my husband came home and pointed it out.

The day Neha turned three we put her in school. Now, she’s in class one and she’s six-years-old. The school is very close to our home. It’s a private school and we pay Rs 550 every month for her education. We also send her for tuition classes. That costs us another Rs 450 a month. We’ve been sending her for tuitions from the time she was in KG; her had teacher told us that she’s not able to form the alphabets properly. We realized that neither of us was equipped to teach her. But now, we also have to think of our second child. He is only four-months-old, but soon we’ll have to send him to school as well. And we know that we won’t be able to afford the fees. It will be too much for us. So we are trying to get Neha admitted to a government school since last year, under the quota for people who earn less than Rs 1 lakh a year. I heard that this entitles Neha a seat in a government school for free under the Right to Education Act. But for the last one year me and my husband have been doing the rounds of various schools and have still got nowhere.

Revati Laul is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka. 
revati@tehelka.com

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