Child denied admission in Pune school over medical condition

Prajakta Joshi
Saturday, 14 April 2018

School says it lacks adequate medical facilities for kids with Type 1 Diabetes

A five-and-half-year-old child was denied admission at Mansukhbhai Kothari National School, a CBSE school located in Kondhwa. A clear violation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act

Pune: At a time when Bollywood films like ‘Hichki’, ‘Taare Zameen Par’, are trying to promote the need to look at minor medical conditions like Dyslexia and Tourette Syndrome normally and not to discriminate with such children over it, in a rather shocking incident in the city, a child has been denied admission by a well-known school because the child is suffering from Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

A five-and-half-year-old child was denied admission at Mansukhbhai Kothari National School, a CBSE school located in Kondhwa. A clear violation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, the school rejected the child stating that they did not have adequate medical facilities to cater to the needs of such children.

Apparently, earlier the child was given admission to the school but later denied it stating the reason. Now, the parents are in the fix as the admissions at CBSE schools in the city are almost over and the child’s future lies hanging.

The mother of the child told Sakal Times that she feels totally cheated by the school. “My child suffers from T1D and needs to be injected with insulin twice a day. The child is equipped with a pump and all it required was to just to press the button that will inject the insulin into the body at the given time. Earlier, for pre-primary, my child was studying at Sanskruti School, where the needs were fully taken care of. However, this year since the school hours have increased and the distance is more from our house, we decided to change the school,” said the mother.

While the child began the academic year at the Sanskruti School from April 1, the mother realised that as the school was too far and the child was reaching home very late. “Considering my child’s medical condition, I decided to look for a school near my house and chose Kothari School. Before carrying out any admission procedure at the school, I met and personally explained the condition of my child to the principal. He said that he would be happy to admit my child at the school, and after a written test, in which my child faired really well, I was given a go-ahead for the admissions,” she said.

While the parent took Transfer Certificate (TC) and Bonafide from Sanskruti School and submitted the documents at Kothari, a couple of days later, the parents got a call from the school saying that the school management has now rejected the application because of T1D and the child has not been selected.

“I was shattered, yet I met the principal and tried to explain that T1D cannot be the reason to reject a child from the school. I also told them that they don’t have to be equipped with anything and just need to keep a close watch on the child but in vain. My child, who was ready to join the new school from Monday is still sitting at home and I don’t know what to tell the child,” she said.

Sandeep Khanna, Principal of Kothari School denied having given any approval for admission and said, “Perhaps, the earlier school was equipped with the required facilities for the child, but ours is not. When the parents told me about the medical history of the child, I told them to give me a couple of days to talk to my teachers and nurses. But after our discussion, we came to a conclusion that we cannot take the risk and denied the admission.”

However, Dr Lalitkumar Updhyay of United World Against Diabetes (UWAD) said that this is a plain discrimination by the school and a lie as the school does not need any special equipment to cater to a child with T1D, as long as the child is well-equipped.

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