Published: 13th April 2018
This differently-abled boy from Kerala is asking for a school closer to home
The action committee of the protest wants the government to consider Aasim’s as a special case on humanitarian grounds
It was a great honour for 12-year-old Muhammed Aasim, a differently-abled boy from Velimanna, when former President A P J Abdul Kalam’s grand-nephew A P J M Sheikh Dawood extended support towards his efforts to upgrade his upper primary school to a high school. Aasim — who suffers from a 90 per cent disability, according to his family — has been requesting the state government for the past several months to upgrade Velimanna Government Mappila UP School to a high school so that he can continue his education.
Failing to get a positive reply from the government, Aasim, supported by the members of the school upgradation action committee and the residents of Velimanna, took out a march and staged a dharna in front of the District Collectorate in Kozhikode on Thursday.
Aasim, the action committee members and Sheikh Dawood met District Collector U V Jose with the same request. Sheikh Dawood, who was in the city to inaugurate the dharna said: “I am here to support this little boy, who despite his disability, is determined to upgrade his school to a high school for himself and for the benefit of several other students from the region.”
The action committee members said that Kalam’s 102-year-old brother Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraicker will write a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan requesting the upgradation of the school.
Aasim has completed his Class VII at Velimanna Govt Mappila UP School. He will have to travel for 5-10 km to reach the nearest high schools at Koodathayi, Venappara and Karuvanpoyil, which would be quite difficult for the family. Aasim needs his parents’ help to commute to the school and meet his basic needs.
Last December, Aasim had written a letter to the CM, requesting the upgradation of his school, and later met the CM and other ministers with the same request. Born without hands, Aasim has trained himself to write with his feet. The boy has disability with his legs too.
According to Aasim’s father Muhammed Saeed, the Chief Minister had given an assurance that he will look into the matter.In January, the action committee was informed that the government cannot grant permission for the upgradation of the school as per the Kerala Education Rules.
The action committee wants the government to consider Aasim’s as a special case on humanitarian grounds.The former lower primary school was upgraded to upper primary in 2015 after Aasim, along with his parents, had sought the intervention of then CM Oommen Chandy.
“Many students, especially those from economically backward classes, discontinue their studies due to the lack of a high school in the panchayat. If it gets upgraded to a high school, it will benefit several students from the region,” said action committee working chairman Sarthaj Ahammed Velimanna.Set up in 1924, the school has a strength of 441 students.
Earlier, Kozhikode district panchayat and Omassery grama panchayat had passed resolutions urging the government to upgrade the school. In February, the Koduvally assistant education officer had submitted a report to the Kozhikode deputy director of education recommending its upgradation.The action committee members said that Aasim will take his agitation to Thiruvananthapuram if the government does not heed his plea.