The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notice to Maharastra over the death of 740 students in residential schools located in tribal areas in the last 10 years, due to lack of basic health services and amenities.
The commission, taking the knowledge of the issue through media reports, said that as per the norms, students should be screened at least twice a year but government agencies are not following it.
The NHRC learned that the issue came to light when a 12-year-old girl from a residential school in Palghar district died on October 7, 2016. Most of the students died of dengue, malaria, food poisoning, drowning, suicide and even snake bite.
Observing that the contents of the reports are shocking and painful, the commission has said: "The students coming from the tribal communities generally belong to poor families.
The school authorities, as their lawful guardians, are responsible for their welfare, safety and health care needs."
"The negligence on the part of the Department of Tribal Development and the school authorities is a violation of Right to Life, Dignity and Equality of the students. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the government of Maharashtra through its Chief Secretary, calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks," said the commission.
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