Sunday, Nov 30, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Mr. Naidu was participating in the `Chaduvula Panduga' programme at this mandal headquarters town in Adilabad district on Saturday afternoon. The Chief Minister, who was late by two hours for the scheduled programme, interacted with girl students of various schools and hostels. Mr Naidu was visibly moved when at least four girls who either lost their parents or were deserted by them narrated their woes and expressed an interest to pursue education. Mr. Naidu consoled a couple of girl students who broke down, narrating their hardships after their parents passed away. Some other girls explained how they were left to fend for themselves after being deserted by the parents.
Girl students of the Social Welfare Residential School at Nachanellapur village - M.Lavanya, Gangamani, Sangeeta and Rasika - broke down on the dais. All these girl students were forced to discontinue school by their parents. Despite being interested in pursuing education, they could not do so as each one of them had a different tale to tell. While one girl said her parents were no more and hence she had to work in the agriculture fields to support the family members, others narrated how their father had abandoned them after marrying for the second time.
One girl broke down saying that her stepmother was ill-treating her and was not giving her food. They said only after joining the hostel were they getting two square meals a day. They lamented that they had no place to visit during vacations. The hostel teachers were taking care of them, they added. They wanted to become teachers or join the civil services to serve society. They said that the sufferings undergone by them should not come to any other children. They said that they would serve the society and come to the rescue of children in distress.
The Chief Minister pulled up two women for forcing their daughter to discontinue school and work in farms. Mr. Naidu forced the women to send their children to school. He promised them that the Government would take care of all the needs of their children in school.
The Chief Minister, who was overcome by emotion, announced Rs. 15,000 to each of the four girls as fixed deposit. He instructed the District Collector to ensure that the girl students pursue their education beyond SSC. He said the Government would bear all their educational expenses. He said such students would not be let down by the Government.
After listening to the woes of the girls, Mr. Naidu announced a special package for orphan students. He said the students, who had nowhere to go during vacations, would be taken care of by the Government. Leisure and excursion trips for the children and vocational courses for the interested students would be provided by the Government. He said the students should not feel let down by the sufferings they had undergone. Mr. Naidu issued a stern warning to all those employing children for work. He said the punishment for engaging a child labourer was severe and added that the Government would view it seriously if anybody violated the law. He called upon the people to join hands with the Government to eradicate child labour.
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