Ratia Dalit girl asserts her right for student bus pass

SIRSA: Non-government organisations —Dalit Media Watch, Innovative Institute for Development and Education of All (IIDEA) and Dr Ambedkar NRI Association (DANRIA) — have come forward to help Jyoti Rani, who is being forced to quit studied because Haryana Roadways has refused her student bus pass.

editorial@tribune.com

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Sirsa, October 11

Non-government organisations —Dalit Media Watch, Innovative Institute for Development and Education of All (IIDEA) and Dr Ambedkar NRI Association (DANRIA) — have come forward to help Jyoti Rani, who is being forced to quit studied because Haryana Roadways has refused her student bus pass.

The Dalit girl from Ratia (Fatehabad) studies MA (English) in Chaudhary Devi Lal University (CDLU), Sirsa. She spends Rs 120 every day to commute from her home to Sirsa and back. Her differently abled father is unable to bear the cost of travel. She said if bus pass was not issued to her, she would be forced to quit studies.

The NGOs offered her Rs 63,000 that she could use for her bus travel for two years. She, however, declined the offer, asking the NGO to help her get the bus pass if they could. “Getting the bus pass is my right,” Jyoti said.

The Haryana Roadways refused bus pass to Jyoti on the grounds students who come from a distance of up to 60 km are entitled to the facility. Ratia is 65 km from Sirsa.

Dr Bachchu Lal, a representative of the NGOs and member of the faculty at the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, US, contacted The Tribune a Punjab-based journalist after The Tribune published the report — “Ratia Dalit girl victim of roadway rules”. He expressed desire to help the girl.

“I have talked to Miss Jyoti Rani on her mobile phone. When I offered to provide her with money, at first instance she said, no sir, I just need a bus pass. When I told her it was not in our power to force anyone to issue bus pass for you but our organisation can pay for your bus travel for a year, she said I will try to get the pass first,” Bachchu Lal later told The Tribune over an email.

He said the NGOs he represented still stood by their offer and they would like to fund her studies so that she did not have to quit studies.

Meanwhile, CMO Haryana Shadow, a constructive criticism and opposition shadow account of Chief Minister Office (CMO), Haryana, has tweeted “Jumla#2 BJP promised security guards and no ticket in roadways for girl students. The promise remains unfulfilled.” (sic)

The tweet has a link of The Tribune story.

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