Mumbai | RTE centres reject income certificates of single moms

Parents continued to struggle with the submission of the Right to Education (RTE) online application for entry level admissions even on the fourth day of the first round on Monday. Apart from problems with the website, several help centres set up by the BMC refused to accept the income certificates of single mothers who are the sole breadwinners of their family.

One of the people to suffer was Bandra resident Rashida Ahmed, who has separated from her husband and earns a living by taking drawing classes for children. “I am the only earning member in the family and thus had an income certificate made in my name. But the centre head refused to take my documents and flatly told me that only my husband’s or father’s income certificate would work,” she said. Ahmed has visited the help centre multiple times to seek admission for her three-year-old son Ibrahim.

A similar problem was experienced by Anita Nuchulwar, a resident of Pratiksha Nagar, who has been living with her mother and is separated from her husband. She works as domestic help and went to the help centre in Matunga with the documents in her name but was turned away. “They told me that my documents wouldn’t work. If I am the only earner in the family then how can I produce documents in my husband’s name?” said Nuchulwar. She has been trying to get admission for her five-and-a-half year old son Aman for a couple of years now. “I want my child to study so that he wouldn’t turn out like me. I want him to lead a better life,” she said.

After the fourth day of the first round of admissions, out of 645 applications that have been submitted, only 85 have been verified. Stating that women’s income certificates can also be accepted, BMC’s education officer, Sambhavi Jogi, said, “I will inform the centres to accept documents from single mothers as well since the earning member can be a woman too,” she said.

Several parents who had received their allotment letters last year have yet again joined in the fray to confirm a seat in a school. Sameer Shaikh is one among several parents who were promised a seat last year and yet have started filling out a fresh application this year. Shaikh’s son Tayyab had been allotted a seat in Jankidevi School in Andheri last year. However, his seat didn’t get confirmed and the school does not figure in the list of RTE schools this year.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

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