Girl moves HC after panchayat delays distribution of free laptop entitled for SC students
Idukki: Anakha Babu, a post-graduate and NET holder in sociology visited the panchayat office multiple times seeking the free laptop entitled for SC students. As the panchayat officials continued to delay in giving the laptop, she approached the High Court. But even after the High Court ordered the panchayat authorities to immediately give the laptop to the SC student, the panchayat officials continued to insult her.
Anakha took to her Facebook page and revealed the humiliation she faced from the panchayat officials for trying to claim her right to the free laptop.
“I and my family belong to SC community. We can not tolerate any more insult by visiting the panchayat office. We have to live with dignity,” wrote Anakha on Facebook.
Anakha Babu and her family reside at Illikkanam, 6th ward of Nedumkandam panchayat in Idukki. A two-bedroom house on 4 cent land is the only property owned by the family. Her father Babu is a coolie worker.
For Anakha, the laptop became an essential one for her studies when she joined for PG Sociology at Sree Sankaracharya university in 2018. Anakha and her sister Aardra, a physiotherapy studen,t filed an application seeking free laptop for SC students from the panchayat. When the panchayat published the list of beneficiaries, Aardra was top in the list. So, the family was happy that at least one will get the laptop. But even after Anakha completed her PG, the panchayat has not distributed the laptop.
Anakha who passed UGC NET is preparing for JRF
“I completed my PG dissertation using my friend’s old laptop. Now, it got damaged. Aardra got online classes too. As we don’t have a laptop, we are struggling to continue our studies,” wrote Anakha.
The family has taken Rs 2 lakh for the education of the two girls. Hence, they need Rs 8000 per month to pay the loan instalment. They are unable to purchase a new laptop amid financial issues.
With the help of an organization named ‘Disha’ , Anakha approached the High Court against the negligence of the panchayat authority. In the first sitting itself, the High Court ordered the panchayat to hand over the laptop within five weeks.
“After obtaining a copy of the court order, I and my sister along with our mother visited panchayat office. But the development affairs standing committee chairperson Shyamala Viswanathan insulted us. She told us if we got the money to file a petition before HC, why don’t we purchase a laptop instead of troubling the panchayat,” alleged Anakha.
Meanwhile, panchayat secretary AV Aji Kumar reported that panchayat has cleared the payment for the laptop at KELTRON. He noted that the laptop will be handed over to the beneficiary once the panchayat receives it from KELTRON.
As Anakha’s Facebook post went viral, many people are offering help to her. But the sisters demanded that they only need the laptop which is entitled to SC students from the panchayat. Anakha declared that if the panchayat did not give the laptop, she will file contempt of court against the panchayat.
Responding to the allegations, Shyamala Viswanathan stated that she only had a friendly talk with the complainants and did not mean to insult them.