High Court Tells Maharashtra To Reply On Plea On Girls Crossing Dam By Boat, Forest On Foot To Reach School

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The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Maharashtra government to respond to a petition taken suo motu (on its own) on the plight of girls in a village who have to use a boat and walk through a forest to reach their school.

A division bench headed by Justice P B Varale had, last month, taken cognizance of a news item on how children of Khirvandi village in the state’s Satara district have to travel by a boat to cross the Koyna Dam and then walk through a forest patch to reach their school daily.

On Friday, the HC appointed advocate Sanjeev Kadam as amicus (to assist the court) and directed him to file a public interest litigation on the issue. It also told the state government to file its reply affidavit. The court said it would hear the matter further after three weeks. The bench, while taking cognizance of the issue last month, had noted that the motto of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme can be achieved only by providing a safe environment for girls.

The court had then noted that girl students ferry their own boat from one end of the Koyna dam to the other and from there go through a patch of dense forest to reach their school.

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