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Orphan children should also get preference under Right to Education
Delhi and Rajasthan appear to have done the needful for enrollment of orphan children to get admissions under the Right to Education Act (RTE). The RTE Act says that it is necessary for all students applying under the 25 per cent quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) to provide certificates of income, birth, caste, and a BPL card - and orphans have none of these.

In other words, the 25 per cent seat reservation under RTE is for children of EWS parents and in general orphans are not covered. Therefore, each state Government must follow policies adopted by Delhi and Rajasthan to give the orphan children a chance to get admission under RTE.

This issue has been raised in Maharashtra in some circles. According to an NGO, in general, orphans cannot meet the criteria of showing proof of the earning of their parents and hence denied the lifeline to a better education. An NGO opines it is almost impossible for orphans to even open a bank account – admission to school is a long shot, reported Indian Express. Therefore, the NGO in Maharashtra is requesting the Government to make it possible for the orphans to be eligible for admissions under RTE in the next academic session. In Delhi and Rajasthan, orphans are required to get a certificate from the Women and Child Development Department to be eligible for admission.

There are around 7,000 (seven thousand) orphans in government recognized orphanages in Maharashtra.  According to the Deputy Commissioner, Women and Child Development department, “We have not received any proposal regarding the issue of certificates for the admission of orphans under the Right to Education (RTE) from the Ministry. We will do the needful once the concerned authorities take a policy decision.”

Hoping a favorable policy decision is taken soon to enable the orphan children get admission in schools under the RTE easily in Maharashtra. This issue should also get favorable response from other states as well where presently orphans are barred from school education under RTE due to the absence of a policy decision.

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