Published: 17th December 2021
Why are ST, SC and BPL hostel students in Odisha shivering in the cold when they should have received winter wear as per govt provisions?
It was due to the pandemic that woolen wear, including sweaters and blankets, were not distributed in the years 2019 and 2020, as per sources
Even with the severe cold wave prevailing in Sundargarh district of Odisha, around 50,000 tribal students in hostels of ST & SC Development Department have been left shivering and are deprived of sweaters and blankets this year too. The provision by the government was last made in 2018.
On July 6, 2021, the State Project Coordinator (SPC) of Odisha State Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) had addressed a letter to education authorities of all districts issuing guidelines for supplying two sets of uniforms, two pairs of shoes and socks to ST, SC, BPL and APL students from Class I to VIII under Samagra Shiksha (SS) scheme. It was specifically mentioned by the SPC that districts facing particularly cold conditions will provide one set of uniforms along with a sweater and blanket. But all of these are yet to be provided.
It was due to the pandemic that these woolen wear were not distributed in the years 2019 and 2020, as per sources. Advisories were issued by the Union Education Ministry with regards to the cold wave in November and December and yet, these students are bearing the brunt of the cold. "Our families are not well off to buy us warm clothes but recently, someone donated a sweater to me which has helped me keep warm. We mostly depend on such sources to take us through the harsh winter months," said Adarsh Munda, a tribal student of Koida block.
Pabitra Mohan Pradhan, Welfare Officer of Sundargarh district informed that the necessary funds were received only recently. Soon, DLPC (District Level Purchase Committee) will decide and finalise winter wear for the hostel boarders.