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The Delhi government has asked its schools to identify those students from west Delhi's Kathputli Colony who had lost their uniform, books and stationery during demolition or transit, and ensure no such student drops out of school. Modifying its stay order, the Delhi High Court last month allowed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to demolish houses of those residents of the colony who were eligible for relocation and had moved out voluntarily. "We need to know the whereabouts/rehabilitation status of displaced families of Kathputli Colony so that the children of these families may be provided with school uniforms, books and stationery items," the Directorate of Education (DoE) said in his communication to the schools. "All heads of aided and unaided schools recognised by the DoE are directed to identify students with address of Kathputli Colony and provide their information to the department at the earliest," it added. The schools have also been allowed to utilise either Pupils Welfare Fund or Vidyalaya Kalyan Samiti Fund to purchase books, writing material and uniform from the market for the required students. "The principals have to ensure that no child drops out of schools or misses classes for the want of uniform, textbooks and writing material, and students are encouraged to continue with their schooling," the DoE said in the letter. Spread over nearly 14 acres, Kathputli Colony is home to a large number of puppeteers, magicians, singers and musicians.
It is the first slum in the city to be taken up by the DDA for in situ redevelopment with the help of a private developer, who in return will get a substantial part of the land for commercial use.