Karnataka: People´s movement saved government school in Mysore

Due to the strong collective people’s movement, the school is saved and the children are smiling.

There are many people (mafia) who are waiting to grab government school and its assets. They don’t care about children’s future. To achieve their selfish goals they can do anything. But there are others too; health of the society is as important to them as their own life, they thrive to make good health, education, and employment to each and everyone and they are ready to take up fights for their cause. These two people are always at loggerheads with each other.

We came across an inspiring story in Mysore, wherein people with honesty and commitment won a fight against people with muscle, power and money.

A century ago, the kings of Mysuru had opened a school for the queens and princesses. After independence, the school got transformed into Maharani’s New Type Model government kannada school (NTMS) and is reputed to have given education to thousands of children. The school is situated in the heart of Mysore and children of poor, daily wage workers are studying there. But the unfortunate thing is, the land now costs some crores of rupees….

Mysuru has a layout named after Swami Vivekananda, there are 4-5 statues of Vivekananda in the city. If they want to build a memorial, then there are lots of places. And they should build the memorial there instead of grabbing the land of government school by closing it down. We can respect Swami Vivekananda only if we print is thoughts and distribute them to people. – Prof Panditaradhya. 

Mafia working under the trust of Swami Vivekananda has been eyeing this school situated in such a strategic place. The trust which has its roots in Tamil Nadu is conspiring to grab the school land by hook or crook. They are saying they want to build a memorial of Vivekananda because apparently Vivekananda once paid visit to the temple situated in the school’s premises. In 2013, when BJP was in power, they used the opportunity and got the order to vacate the school from there.

Parents of children studying in the school were distressed hearing the news that the NTMS school is getting closed and the children were to be transferred to Devras Urs School. In panic, some parents have already transfered their children to other schools.

 Once this news became public, Kannada activists including SR Sudarshan, P. Mallesh, Samskruti Subramanya opposed this move.

These activists met the parents of the children and appealed them to join the fight to save the school. In 2014, only 23 children were studying in the school. These activists convinced parents to let the children study in the same school. A people movement was launched and pressure was put on then chief minister Siddaramaiah. Responding the concern Siddaramaiah gave oral order to the secretary of the education department and stopped the transfer of school land. The activist took a sigh of relief with the momentary victory. The trust which lost the case appealed to the high court.

To close down the school is to insult Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda believed that poor are god. He had pressed for education of girls. He had said that, What girls should study should be decided by the girls themselves and not by anyone else. By using name of such person and closing down the school of poor girls is the worst insult one could do to Swami Vivekananda. We are fighting to save this school because we respect Vivekananda.

– Deavnoora Mahadeva

For six years from then, school ran without any problems. Now the number of children studying in the school has increased to 48. Since last month, the trust became active again when BJP formed the government in Karnataka. The education department has come under pressure through primary education minister Suresh Kumar. Education department officials who toe the line of government have suddenly become ready to dismantle the school. Within moments of this news reaching the activists, hundreds of people started protesting against the move. They are asking why is the government in a hurry to close down the school when the matter is subjudice. They protested at the school premises day and night from 12th october to 14th october.

Prominent writers GH Nayak, Mira Nayak, Devanoora Mahadeva, SR Sudarsha, P. Mallesh, Prof. Panditaradhya, MLA SR Mahesh, ex MP Dhruva Narayan, and other eminent people have participated in the protest.

Parents have gone to Bengaluru and complained to the Child rights commission. As the protests intensified, Yeddyurappa wrote to Mysuru district collector and ordered not to transfer the school.

Due to the strong collective people’s movement, the school is saved and the children are smiling.

 

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May 2024
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