At a time when the nation is crying out for the safety and protection of the girl child, not a single hostel has been provided by the Congress-led UPA Government for the 3,47,900 girl students in the educationally backward blocks in the country despite `2,000 crore allocated by the Planning Commission during the 11th Plan period.
The Parliamentary standing committee on Human Resource Development, headed by Congress MP Oscar Fernandes, said that the scheme for construction and running of girls’ hostel for students of secondary and higher secondary schools virtually remains only on paper. The scheme was launched in 2008-09 and is being implemented from 2009-10. Each hostel was meant to house 100 girls in each of the 3,479 blocks.
The main objective of the scheme is to help girl students to complete their secondary school education unhindered by factors such as distance, parents’ financial affordability and other social factors as well as making secondary and senior secondary education accessible to a larger number of girl students. The Parliamentary standing committee noted that though the scheme was revised in March 2012, it is yet to take off. “The only progress made so far is that out of 3,479 hostels to be built, the number of hostels approved by the project approval boards is 1,925 and against this only 958 hostels have been sanctioned,” the panel pointed out.
The committee said, “The committee does not have much hope about the hostels coming up by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan.”