With just two days to go for the first round of online admissions under the Right to Education quota, single mothers are still struggling to submit their applications at the help centres. The BMC’s education officer, Sambhavi Jogi, on Monday said such parents can submit a declaration of being the family’s sole earning member.

About 10 parents from Andheri and 15 from Dharavi had their applications rejected. While some of the mothers are separated from their husbands, others live with unemployed husbands.

Ratna Kumar, 26, has been trying to get her son, Arvind, 3, admitted under the 25 per cent RTE quota. “I work as a domestic help and my husband left us more than two years ago,” Kumar said.

“The help centre officials refused to accept my income certificate and asked me to get my husband’s instead. Should I raise my three children or go looking for my husband?”

After an NGO, Anudanit Shikshan Samiti, held a protest on March 11 against the policy of not accepting income certificates of single mothers, the BMC education department issued a notice to the centres on March 13 to modify the rules.

The circular stated that single parents can submit their income certificate provided they can furnish a divorce certificate or a court document if the divorce case is under trial.

But some people whose divorce proceedings have been initiated but are still underway, like Yasmin Khaled Shaikh, were still in a helpless situation.

“The help centre officials refused to take my application and asked me to get a divorce certificate or court document. How can I get that before the admission gets over,” Shaikh asked.

Jogi said, “The mothers will have to give some form of a declaration to us. They can state that they are the only earning members in the family and that they are single mothers on stamp paper for admission along with their income certificates. I will send a notice to all the help centres on Tuesday.”

According to the BMC, 2,702 applications have been received since February 27, and about 262 applications have been rejected.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

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