New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) Lamenting that the Right to Education Bill, 2005 would make education in India ''a preserve of the rich'' while depriving poor children from the competitive education, people from 15 states of the country will gherao Parliament on February 28 to urge the Government to ensure that benefit of education reaches the poor and downtrodden.
Agitating under the aegis of the National Alliance for Right to Education and Equity (NAFRE), the common people will protest the privatisation and commercialisation of education envisaged in the Right To Education Bill, 2005.
''We believe that the current provisions in the Bill would privatise and commercialise the education system in India and would deprive the poor children from the main domain of society and create a big gap in the balance development of the nation,''NAFRE convener Karan Tyagi said at a press conference here.
Mr Tyagi said that NAFRE, along with other groups had prepared an alternative Bill and submitted the same to the Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh but unfortunately the policy makers of the country did not bother.
''Therefore to make the establishment listen to our pleas, we have decided to organise a Parliament Gherao on February 28 wherein almost 20000 common people from 15 states of the country will be mobilised against the "anti-poor" Bill,''Mr Tyagi said.
''On February 28, we will urge Parliament MPs to bring about changes in the legislation to ensure that the benefit of knowledge and education reaches the poor and downtrodden sections of society,''he said.
On the choice of February 28 for the dharna, Mr Tyagi said,''February 28 was chosen for the dharna because it is on this day, when Finance Minister P Chidambaram presents the General Budget, that eyes of the entire world will be on the country.'' ''The Bill is a part of a conspiracy to confine knowledge and education in the hands of a few elitist sections of society.
This is bad news for the common man and people below the poverty line. Infact, it is a repetition of what the legendary Dronacharya did to Eklavaya thousands of years ago,''Mr Tyagi said.
Pointing out that that a World Bank survey had indicated billion dollars of opportunity in the education sector in India, Mr Tyagi alleged that the national and international capitalist forces were seriously trying to capture the sector for a huge profit.
''And, in India, the so-called progressive government is not sympathetic towards the poor. Rather they become the puppet of the capitalists' forces. we have observed several such efforts by the government that indicates its leaning towards privatisation of education.'' UNI AR VD KP1924