Several schools named after martyrs lack basic facilities, adequate infrastructure

Govt yet to take decision on making them model ones

* Mere amending records is not real tribute to personalities

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Dec 29: Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that several schools which have been named after the martyrs in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are lacking basic facilities and adequate infrastructure mainly because no serious attention has been paid towards this vital aspect by the Government while taking the decision.
Due to this, the people including the elected representatives at the gross root level feel that mere amending the records cannot be considered as real tribute to the personalities who laid down their lives for the nation.
The Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha vide its Decision No.117/15/2021 dated October 19, 2021 approved the naming of schools, roads and buildings after martyrs and eminent persons under the ongoing “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations.
The Council had stated, “as a mark of respect and acknowledgement of the exceptional contributions towards the security and development of the Union Territory, the identified infrastructure will be renamed after the martyrs and living legends from Jammu and Kashmir”.
As a sequel to this decision, which received wide-spread appreciation from the public, the General Administration Department vide Order No.1161 dated October 29, 2021 accorded sanction to naming of infrastructure assets after the martyrs and eminent personalities. Even the list of martyrs/eminent personalities and infrastructure named was issued.
Accordingly, the concerned Administrative Secretaries were directed to take immediate necessary steps including amending their records for effecting the changes and Divisional Commissioners were asked to personally monitor the naming of infrastructure assets in their respective divisions. Similarly, Deputy Commissioners were told to ensure that suitable events are held in connection with the naming of these infrastructure assets.
However, it has come to the fore that several schools which have been named after the martyrs are lacking basic facilities and infrastructure for the students as no serious attention was paid towards this vital aspect while taking decision, sources told EXCELSIOR.
Quoting an example, they said that Government Primary School Mandi in Reasi district, which has been named after martyred Special Police Officer Abdul Rashid is being run from a ‘kacha’ private house as no efforts have been made till date by the Government to provide land for construction of infrastructure. What kind of school named after martyr it is? sources asked, adding “is this a real tribute to the martyr, who laid down his life for the nation”.
“The plight is that there is no appropriate space in the school to erect the board mentioning—Martyr Abdul Rashid Government Primary School Mandi”, they further said, adding “though the Sarpanch of the area has offered a piece of land for raising permanent structure of the school yet the process has not reached the logical conclusion till date”.
Similarly, Government Middle School Thub, also in Reasi district, named recently after martyred Special Police Officer Diwan Singh doesn’t have boundary wall and other basic facilities required for the students, sources said, adding “there are numerous schools particularly in the rural areas of Union Territory, which have been named after the martyrs but lacking boundary walls and other infrastructure besides adequate number of teachers for imparting education to the students”.
“The lack of attention towards such schools before their naming after the martyrs can be justified on one pretext or the other but soon after the landmark decision of the Administrative Council at least plans should have been formulated by the School Education Department to provide adequate infrastructure and other facilities”, sources said.
Stressing that all such schools should be developed as model ones, the elected representatives of the people at the gross root level (Panchayat Halqa) said, “mere amending the official records cannot be considered as real tribute to the personalities who laid down their lives for the nation”, adding “the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary should pass instructions to the School Education Department for development of these schools as model ones”.