Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Great expectations gone awry (Republica)

Great expectations gone awry



SURKHET, Jan 25: Twenty two children brought to the capital from several villages of Surkhet and Kalikot with the lure of top class education for negligible charges have been rescued by their parents after they found out that the kids were kept as captives in poor conditions at the school.

The parents said they suspected that their children would have been sold had they not intervened on time.

"We were told that our children would be admitted to a branch school of Budhanilkantha school where they could study till the higher level for just Rs 40,000,” said Dhanbahadur Khadka of Sipkhana, Kalikot.

“The children sounded as if they were under some distress when we called them. We then visited the school to see if everything was all right and the truth came to surface,” he added. According to him, the parents were not allowed to go inside the school at first. “But we forced our way in and found that the children were crammed in a single room that was dark and very small.”

Khadka had handed over his son to his relative Netra Bahadur on November 19 along with the demanded amount of Rs 40,000 which he had borrowed against a very high interest. The children were rescued from the school on January 11 under Khadka's initiation.

According to the parents, the school principal Dayalaxmi Shrestha was the mastermind of the plot. With the help of Prem Saud, Netrabahadur, Birendra Dhami and Mahesh, all of them residents of Kalikot district, Shrestha was able to gather the children at the school situated in Siddhartha Banasthali area and went by the name of MBS High School.

In the month of November alone, 84 children from Seuna, Sikhana, Mumra, Mehalmudi and other villages, were brought to the school.

The children who have returned home with their parents painted a hellish picture of the life inside the school. “We were never given fresh and enough food,” said nine years old Charitra Sahakari. “We took care of all their household chores. We were made to work like slaves,” added 10-year-old Rasila Yogi.

The children were found to be in a very poor health condition. “Many of them suffer from dysentery and diarrhea,” said Khadka.

On the other hand, the government has kept quiet despite being aware of the ongoing situation at the school. According to Khadka, the children were rescued with the help of an education officer Suresh Shahi.

“Shahi had asked the principal Shrestha to produce legal documents of the school which she could not,” Khadka said, adding, “however, no action has been taken against her yet.”

Published on 2012-01-25

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

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