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Tribal students want grant restoration for school

Monday 10 January 2005, by CHANDRAMOHAN*C.K.

VIKAS NAGAR (Dehra Dun) JAN. 9. The 300-odd tribal girl students of Ashok Ashram, the oldest central Himalayan Gandhian institution, here have urged the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to intervene and restore the annual grant from the central Tribal Welfare Department which was stopped abruptly at the behest of the Uttaranchal Social Welfare Department.

"If the grant is not restored this school which topped in the Uttaranchal High School Board examination by securing cent percent results last year may have to fold up for want of funds", the students said.

This institution established in 1942 by Mahatma Gandhi boasts of being the cradle for education among the extremely poor Jaunsari, Bhoxa, Tharu and Bhotia tribals of the region. It has played a vital role in curbing trafficking of women and rescuing girls from red light areas in the major cities of the country. Today, it provides education with an ashram type atmosphere where the students and teachers are provided food, clothes and other necessities.

The Uttaranchal Social Welfare Department had refused to send a recommendation to the Centre for fresh grant about 14 months ago citing some `flimsy’ allegations, which have been withdrawn recently.

See online : The Hindu

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