Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi (Photo Credit: File Image)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday urged Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to provide all assistance to students who haven't been able to go home and are staying in hostels during the national lockdown to combat coronavirus. In a letter to the minister, Gandhi said uninterrupted supply of essentials should be provided to all residential schools and all educational institutions should be instructed to ensure regular communication between students and their families.
The Congress leader said he has received several requests from parents to ensure the well-being of their children staying in residential facilities of educational institutions. The HRD minister responded saying that students are still residing in 169 hostels across the country and they are being taken care of.
In his letter, Gandhi said, "I request the Ministry to issue instructions to educational institutions with residential facilities to facilitate regular communication between students and their families."
"I would also like to request the Ministry to ensure uninterrupted supply of basic necessities, especially in residential schools like JNVs (Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya). Further, adequate precautionary measures should be adopted, and institutions must ensure proper access to medical facilities," he added.
Gandhi said 20 students from his parliamentary constituency Wayanad are studying in JNV, Nainital as part of a migration programme. He said he had spoken to the school principal and was reassured that all measures were being taken for the well-being of the students.
Replying to the Congress leader's concerns, the HRD minister on Twitter said, "Our government is very sensitive to the issues of the students and my ministry had already instructed all schools, universities and institutes on 21st March itself to allow students, who are still in the hostels, particularly foreign students, to continue in their hostels and all necessary safety precautions be made for the welfare of students."
"I also assure all the students that HRD Ministry would proactively redress any grievances of students. In 169 hostels, students are residing and every precaution is being taken for the safety of the students," Nishank said.