Mumbai: Parents approach Deputy Director of Education over fake income certificate controversy

After their kids were denied admission due to fake income certificates, few parents from a Goregaon School are now making rounds of the office of Deputy Director of Education (DyDE) to ensure their wards do not lose an academic year. While the police investigation in the case continues, parents insist that they were misled into the racket as many of them already have an original income certificate that they acquired at the time of admission. They say they sort help from the agent only to reduce efforts and time to acquire one again.

Parents at DyDE office

These parents have taken admission to schools in Goregaon east, run by Goenka Associates Educational Trust. These schools are Gokuldham School, Yashodham School, Lakshadham School. A total of 400 admissions were given under RTE in these schools, of which 128 certificates were sent for verification. From them, a total of 66 are confirmed to have been forged documents and police is expecting this number to increase.

One of the parents, Gauri Pillai, said, “These admissions are not new. Why the school is suddenly realizing about it now? The income certificate what we submitted at the time of admission was the document we acquired from the Tahsildar office. But we had to submit new document every year. An agent who also happens to be security guard at the school approached us that he will get us income certificate to our doorstep if we pay the price. He charged us all different amounts from Rs.2000 to Rs.5000 per certificate. We had no clue that the document he is going to bring is a fake one.”

Two different types income certificates

Another parent, Mithilesh Katariya, said; “Only the said document is fake, but that does not change the reality of our income. Our income remains same. We sought help from the agent thinking that it will be convenient instead of going to stand in the Tehsildar office. But now, we realise that we shouldn’t have had depended on an agent.”

“It is important that the school as well as investigators zero down on those agents because of whom we are in a fix now. Our intent was only to avoid extra efforts of getting a new income certificate. Our documents that we provide as proof yet remain same,” said Gayatri Gupta, another parent.

Adding to this, Anita Gupta, said, “As the school is ICSE board affiliated, the new academic year began in March. New uniform, shoes, books everything has been bought. Summer break began after a month of the new academic year. How can the school now ask us to leave? There is no way of getting admission to any other school at this time. They should at least give us time to present new appropriate income certificate.”

Police Inspector Ravi Adane from the Dindoshi police station, who is investigating in the matter, said, “We have arrested one agent, a person named Nilesh Sonawane (34) resident of Aaray Colony. 66 income certificates were found to have been bogus after it was confirmed that the Tehsildar office did not issue those. During investigation, parents were asked how they got those certificates, which is when the agents’ names started coming out. Agents have taken varied amounts from different parents to issue fake income certificates.”

After this incident came to light, several schools from the nearby vicinity have started approaching police to ensure that they are not being duped. According to information provided by sources from the Dindoshi Police Station, “More schools are approaching police to understand how to verify genuineness of the documents – income certificate and other documents. More schools have become cautious after the complaint.”

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