Some schools are more equal in Rajasthan
Sangh-run schools get preferential treatment in MLALAD scheme in BJP-ruled state
SANDIPAN SHARMA, Indian Express,Thursday, December 29, 2005
Vasundhara Raje JAIPUR, DECEMBER 28: Here’s some good news for the Sangh Parivar. And it comes from the friendly Rajasthan government.
The Rajasthan government has allowed its MLAs to make generous contributions from their local area development fund (LAD) to schools affiliated to the Parivar.
Through a circular distributed among the MLAs, the Vasundhara Raje government has allowed the legislators to donate Rs 10 lakh to every school run by the Vidya Bharati, a Sangh affiliate that runs at least 500 schools across Rajasthan. Since the Adarsh Vidya Mandir (AVM) schools run by the organisation are non-government entities, contributions to them (or any other individual school) were earlier not allowed. . According to the original directive, the MLAs could have given only Rs 10 lakh to a non-Government organization in the state.
In November this year, the Sangh raised the issue with the Government through its functionaries and hardliners in the Raje Cabinet, saying that in the absence of funds the AVMs would find it difficult to survive.
A few days later, the Government issued another circular . ‘‘In the context of the earlier directives, we are giving special relaxation to the AVM schools. Each AVM school can now be treated as an individual unit and each MLA can contribute up to Rs 10 lakh for the development of every school,’’ the new circular says. Contributions to all other non-Government organizations and schools would, however, continue to be governed by the earlier directive.
At present there are 120 BJP MLAs in the State Assembly. And if they decide to donate the entire LAD fund (Rs 60 lakh per year) to the AVM schools, they could be richer by nearly Rs 72 crore every year.
Rural Development Minister Kalu Lal Gujral, whose ministry issued the directive, does not find anything wrong with the circular. He says there was demand from rural areas for more funds for schools. ‘‘What’s wrong in that?’’ he says.