90% dis­abil­i­ties, 100% de­ter­mi­na­tion

Asim on wheel­chair ‘pa­day­a­tra’ from Kozhikode to State cap­i­tal for his school

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Staff Re­porter

A video of dif­fer­ently abled boy Mo­hammed Asim from Ve­li­manna in Ker­ala’s Kozhikode dis­trict in­ter­act­ing with Rahul Gandhi went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia af­ter the Congress pres­i­dent posted it to his Face­book page a fort­night ago.

Asim is now plan­ning to launch a wheel­chair ‘pa­day­a­tra’ to the State Sec­re­tariat on Fe­bru­ary 15 to in­ten­sify his de­mand that an up­per pri­mary school in his vil­lage be up­graded to help him con­tinue his stud­ies.

Re­cip­i­ent of award

The 13-year-old re­cip­i­ent of the Ker­ala govern­ment’s Ujjwala Balyam Award for child prodi­gies, who cleared the Class 7 ex­ams in 2018, could not con­tinue his stud­ies last year as the State govern­ment de­cided to file an ap­peal against a June or­der of the High Court that di­rected the au­thor­i­ties to up­grade the school.

Saeed Ya­mani, Asim’s father, told The Hindu on Sun­day, “My son lost an en­tire aca­demic year as the High Court is yet to start the hear­ing on the ap­peal. We thought of launch­ing a Gand­hian ag­i­ta­tion from the school to the State cap­i­tal to high­light our de­mand. I will ac­com­pany him.”

Be­gan cam­paign in 2015

Asim, born with­out hands and with 90% dis­abil­i­ties, is ac­tive in arts and cul­tural events.

The Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment up­graded the only govern­ment lower pri­mary (LP) school in his vil­lage to an up­per pri­mary (UP) school af­ter he launched a cam­paign in 2015.

The govern­ment, how­ever, re­jected his re­quest to up­grade it to a high school. In his pe­ti­tion to the High Court, Asim had con­tended that the pro­vi­sions of the Right to Ed­u­ca­tion Act en­sured manda­tory ed­u­ca­tion for ev­ery child up to Class 8 within a 3 km ra­dius.

There is no govern­ment high school in his grama pan­chayat ei­ther.

The court dis­missed 133 of the 134 pe­ti­tions from across the State, which sought to up­grade LP schools to UP schools.

Mr. Ya­mani said it was dif­fi­cult for his son to go to the near­est high school, about 5 km away.

“We have in­formed the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment that their prom­ise to ar­range a ve­hi­cle to take him to the high school is not prac­ti­cal for us. Asim is not keen on their sug­ges­tion for home­based ed­u­ca­tion ei­ther,” he added.

SPE­CIAL AR­RANGE­MENT ■

A file photo of Rahul Gandhi with Asim in Kochi.

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