"Right to Education is a fundamental right as defined by the Right to Education Act. A child has to be in a full time formal day school and there can be no exception to this. The public hearing has been necessitated following complaints received by NCPCR regarding largescale violation of RTE in West Bengal,'' said Magsaysay awardee and Chairperson NCPCR Shantha Sinha.
She led the jury of the two-day state-level public hearing on the issue of “Right to Education” and “Child Trafficking in South 24 Parganas” at Town Hall here today.
The cases heard included different cases of insult, hurt and absence of school infrastructure reported from different districts including Kolkata, Maldah and Murshidabad.
The jury comprised Chairperson, NCPCR, Shantha Sinha, Retired justice Samaresh Banerjea, Members of NCPCR Vinod Kumar Tikoo and Yogesh Dubey, actor and child rights activist Nandana Sen and NDTV journalist Mohuya Chaudhuri.
Altogether 19 cases of RTE violation had been received from different districts of West Bengal including Kolkata, Maldah, West Midnapore and Kharagpur, by the Central body since 2010, according to official sources.
Incidentally, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, passed by Parliament on August 4 2009, provides for free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 under article 21A of the Constitution.
India is one of the 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child.
Representatives from the West Bengal Government, including state project director and district project officers of Sarva Sikshya Mission were summoned by the Commission and directives were given by the body on deprivation and violation of child rights, non-implementation of RTE and non-compliance of policy decisions.
West Bengal is one of the Indian states that does not have a state child rights protection commission.