Mumbai: Students see red at Sharad Pawar's birthday party

Much to the students’ annoyance, the Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh organises a three-day sports event on the grounds of a BMC-run night school and college to celebrate the NCP chief’s birthday

Between Wednesday and Friday, the playground of the Sahakar Night High School and Junior College in Chinchpokli turned into a venue for the celebration of NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s birthday, much to the students’ chagrin.

The sports programme held at NM Joshi Marg Municipal School, celebrating Sharad Pawar’s birthday
The sports programme held at NM Joshi Marg Municipal School, celebrating Sharad Pawar’s birthday

The Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh organised the three-day sports event between 6 pm-9 pm, a time when the students of the institution (run in the NM Joshi Marg Municipal School Building), attend regular lectures.

Banners put up for the occasion
Banners put up for the occasion

Loudspeakers disrupt lectures
Pravin Dalvi, a college student at the Sahakar Night High School and Junior College, complained that the students had little choice but to leave early because the din from the loudspeakers at the event was unbearable. When he enquired at the G/South Ward office about how the Sangh received permissions for the event, the official was clueless.

“On Friday, the Administration Officer (AO) of School claimed she had not granted permission to the organisation to hold the event at my college. She asked me to submit a written complaint and said they will take action against the organisation,” said Dalvi, who works as a light decorator and studies Arts in Class 12 at the college.

“Everybody knows that most students who attend a night school work in the day. We barely studied over those three days.” Another student of Class 10, who did not wish to be named, said, “Those three days were so chaotic that we could barely concentrate at school. We complained to our teacher, but he said he was helpless and that it was the municipal corporation’s responsibility to put a stop to the sports event.”

BMC denies granting permission
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Education Department circular, no private organisation is allowed to hold an event at a BMC-run school/college playground the grounds are open to school/college students only.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC), Sunil Dhamne, who is in charge of the Education Department, said, “We have not granted any private body permission to hold an event in the civic school’s playground. I will direct the AO of G/South ward with the enquiry. If this event was, indeed, held, we will register a case of trespassing against the organisation.”

Education Officer Shambhavi Jogi, too, confirmed the violation of norms and said, “We do not permit private organisations to hold events in BMC-run schools.” Former state minister, Sachin Ahir, who is now president of Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh, said he was unaware of the event in question.

“I, too, am surprised at how this sports event was organised if the BMC did not us grant permission. I will look into this and ask my organisation to take requisite action. I will also ensure that something like this does not happen again. Students’ classes should not have been disrupted,” said Ahir.

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