Guwahati, 8 march-2014,Nilim Dutta/Smita Dutta: School children from among the displaced Muslim families of Ramfalbil, now living in the in Joymaguri settlement in Gossaigaon, Kokrajhar Districts of Assam, all of who are victims of the violence unleashed against them in 2012, have been threatened by the school teachers that they shall not be allowed to attend classes from this month if they don’t buy school uniforms. Many among these students are young girls who are struggling to continue their schooling amidst untold hardships.
They spoke to Smita Dutta during our visit to the settlement on 2 March 2014. Celebrating International Women’s Day through speeches and self-congratulatory pats on our backs, and posts in social media rings hollow if we choose to ignore their plight.
Are you committed enough to make a difference for them?
What the three girls have narrated is given below:
My name is Miss Razina Khatoon.
I read in the sixth standard.
When we go to school, our schoolmates scold and mock us for not having school uniforms.
Even our teachers are looking for excuses to throw us out of the school.
We plead with them that we are from the relief camp and too poor to afford school uniforms.
They tell us that no more such excuses will be tolerated.
We do not even have enough to eat, how can we afford uniforms?
Also, we have to walk nearly a mile to reach the school and even there we are treated badly by the other students because we are poor.
When we complain of mistreatment by other students, our teachers do not say anything to them.
That is why we now go quietly and come back quietly.
Editor’s note: This field observation is done by Smita Dutta and Nilim Dutta, Both are executives of the SRAO. We are not responsible for any parts of this article.