Demand of Flood Money Triggers Anxiety in School Students

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

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A day after Principal Kothibagh Govt Girls Higher Secondary School directed students to deposit Rs 1000 as flood donation—failing which might land students in trouble, the students say they are themselves flood-hit and aren’t in a position to deposit the same.

“The Principal Ma’am’s order has shocked us,” says Sadiya, a Class 11 student of GHSS Kothibagh. “I think it is a sheer example of highhandedness.”

Notably, Principal Fatima Shaheen Tak, who is at the centre of controversy, has allegedly threatened to issue “Discharge Certificates” to students who fail to donate the said amount. “Not only that,” says Bushra, another student, “the repeated demand of the donation has turned our school stay very awkward.”

However, while defending the move, Tak said the step has been taken on the orders of Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar. “The minister has directed all institutes to collect Rs 1000 from students so that the flood inundated schools would be renovated as soon as possible,” Fatima Shaheen Tak told Kashmir Life. “The minister is eager to collect the funds. He keeps me asking its status.”

Though, the minister’s office has turned down the allegations, saying the minister had just made an appeal to the students studying in the flood inundated schools. “But the administration of these schools has taken it as a directive,” said Shahnawaz Bukhari, a close aide of Education Minister.

Akhtar was on a field visit and was not able to talk to Kashmir Life.

Bukhari, however, said he has received a couple of complaints in this matter and is likely to clear the matter with the said institutions.

Meanwhile, students say being the flood victims they are yet to get government compensation themselves and aren’t in a position to give the said donation.

“We live in a rented apartment and my father had as shop which got washed away in September floods, what am I supposed to donate?” asks Qurat, another student of the school.

(Name of students quoted in this story have been changed) 

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