Inquiry into 'begging' by Navodaya students

Inquiry into 'begging' by Navodaya students

Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) Upendra Kushwaha has asked the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to institute an inquiry on a report that students of its school were made to participate in a “Bhikshatan (begging)” event.

The event was organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Begusarai district of Bihar.

The Union minister sought the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti Commissioner B K Singh to set up an inquiry into the incident, taking “cognizance” of a news item published in a Hindi daily on Sunday. Kushwaha, who is chief of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and a coalition partner of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, was on a visit to Begusarai when he came to know about the incident.

“After reading a news item about students participating in a begging event organised by the ABVP, the minister took very serious view of it and immediately called the NVS chairman. He asked him to immediately set up an inquiry,” an official of the HRD Ministry told DH.

Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, which functions under the HRD Ministry as an autonomous body, runs Jawahar Navodyaya Vidyalayas across the country. These schools, popularly called as Navodaya Vidyalayas, are meant to provide education to children living in rural areas. HRD Minister Smriti Irani is the chairman of the Samiti.

According to media reports, the students of Navodaya Vidyalaya in Begusarai were made to collect alms from people in the “Bhikshatan (begging)” event on Saturday, organised under the aegis of the ABVP. The incident drew sharp criticism from the locals with many questioning how the school authorities allowed the students to participate in such an event organised by the students’ wing of the BJP.