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Toll Free No, 1000 Hot Lines, 1120 CCTVs To Ensure Safety Of Odisha ST & SC Girl Students

12 July 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: Replying to question posed on July 2 by Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra and Dhamnagar (BJP) MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi during the ongoing Odisha Assembly Budget Session, ST & SC Development Minister apprised the House today that the Department has ensured safety of the ST& SC hostel girl students by taking several significant measures.     

In his written statement, Odisha ST & SC Development Minister Jagannath Sarka has stated, “To address the grievances of the girl students of the ST & SC School Hostels, a special School Hostel Monitoring Unit has been set up at the State level by the Department and also a control room has been working. Besides, 24x7 Toll Free No. 1800-345-3040 has been issued along with 1000 Hot Line Telephones connect all the girls’ hostels with the State Level Control Room through which the aggrieved girl students are airing their grievances.”

He has further stated, “If any dereliction of duty of lapses found, stringent action is being taken against the erring officials. Even steps have been taken to install 1120 CCTVs to keep a strict vigil on campuses of all the departmental residential schools.”      

The Minister has also stated, “For the development of education among the students hailing from Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) categories, the Department has set up 6500 hostels and 1670 schools while 5.93 lakh students (both boys and girls) are being educated. The State Government is always on alert for the safety and security of these students for which various measures are being taken.”

“In a bid to ensure good health and hygiene of all these students, regular health check-ups are being conducted by the Health & Family Welfare Department as well as the ANMs. For this duty, all the headmasters concerned, District Welfare Officers (DWOs) and District Extension Officers (DEOs) have been jointly maintaining coordination with the District Health Department. Our Department has issued clear instruction to have mandatory health check-up of all the students when they are to schools after vacations,” the written statement claims.

Citing the recent incident, the Minister informed the House, “Accordingly, Khurda DWO has informed that the mandatory health check-up was undertaken by the Rastriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) team after the recent summer vacation. The preliminary health check-up discovered and suspected that four girl students were pregnancy positive following which thorough health examination of those four girl students were done at Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar. The report revealed that only one girl student was diagnosed pregnancy positive while the other three were negative. The pregnancy positive diagnosed girl student has been provided proper counseling and necessary healthcare facilities.”

He added, “The guardian of the girl student was also formally apprised of the fact and condition. Also the police was informed. Investigation revealed that the girl had been to her home during the 2019 summer vacation during which she had physical relation with her neighbour. Police have arrested the accused on July 2.”

“Similarly, two girl students in January and February, 2019 had been to their respective homes in Dhenakanal and Mayurbhanj districts. After such reports came in, police investigation revealed that they were mistreated at homes not in the ST & SC Department school hostels. Hence, such objectionable incidents have happened in their homes not in the school hostels. Legal actions have been taken to punish the culprits by the respective local police,” the ST&SC Development Minister concluded. 

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Jagannath Sarka, ST & SC Development Minister, Odisha