After refusing to pay donation for Ram Mandir, headmistress of RSS-backed school alleges harassment

Bajaj said that the Head of School conspired with other staff to level false allegations against her, ranging from making casteist remarks to threatening other employees
Image for representational purposes | PTI
Image for representational purposes | PTI

A headmistress of an RSS-backed school in Delhi was allegedly harassed by her school management after she refused to pay Rs 70,000 as donation towards Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya. The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the school in this regard. Apart from the Rao Mehar Chand Saraswati Vidya Mandir School in North Delhi, Justice Kameswar Rao has also issued a notice to Samarth Shiksha Samiti, the society that runs the school, following a petition filed by the school's headmistress Hema Bajaj. 

The High Court will hear the case again on December 17. In her petition, Bajaj claimed that the target to collect or contribute Rs 70,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya had been given by the school management way back in February. The petition, filed through advocate Khagesh B Jha, stated that the staff was asked to convince students and their parents to contribute to the cause as well. Bajaj said that as she was not a class teacher and also because of the poor financial health of her family, she was unable to contribute the Rs 70,000. The amount is over and above the yearly donation collected from the staff in the name of ‘Samarpan', which too ranges from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000, she reportedly said.

Bajaj said that despite extreme financial constraints, she donated Rs 2,100 for Ram Mandir on March 3, 2021, but refused to pay any amount for Samarpan this year. The petition stated that Bajaj had complained to the office of Delhi’s Education Minister regarding the harassment row. The Office of the Deputy Chief Minister then directed the Department of Education to initiate an inquiry on the school.

Following this, Bajaj said that the school management and Samarth Shiksha Samiti had been vindictive towards her and hatched conspiracies to harass her so that she would either resign or be terminated. Bajaj stated that the Head of School conspired with other staff members to level false allegations against her. The allegations ranged from making casteist remarks against another teacher to even threatening another employee outside the school premises.

The petition also stated that Bajaj has been suspended by the school management and a departmental inquiry has also been initiated against her without the mandatory prior sanction from the Department of Education. The plea has challenged the suspension order and sought direction to restore her services with full back wages.

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