<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an astonishing figure that has cropped up, not a single case of sexual harassment or assault has been reported by women committees, despite of a rape case that rocked Buldhana’s residential school in December 2016. The committees inspected 1,000-odd tribal schools across Maharashtra. Reports from all 16 tribal districts which have schools have been submitted to the government gradually over the last few months. Surprisingly, none of them found a single complaint of sexual harassment from girl students across. Manisha Verma, secretary Tribal Development department said, “All reports were submitted a couple of months ago. None of the committees found any sexual harassment case in any school. Just one incident was reported from a school in Nashik district that too was of punishment.” When asked to elaborate on the case, Verma just said, “A girl student was being punished by the principal for some wrongdoing. We have already transferred the principal.” Verma added, “The department is doing a lot of positive things to improve the tribal schools which must be highlighted.” Facing flak from every quarter after the rape of a 13-year-old student in an ashram school in Khamgaon tehsil of Buldhana district, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had directed the tribal development department to send a five-member women’s team in every district to inspect all ashram schools and send a detailed report on all their operations including ‘in-depth talks with female children’. There are 526 government tribal residential and 552 government-aided tribal schools in the state set up in dense and remote forest and hilly regions. These institutions cater to nearly five lakh children including two lakh girls.Earlier, death of nearly 1,100 children in these schools over the past one decade had also led to a huge uproar in 2016. The high court and Human Rights Commission also rapped the state government for the same. The department has planned to impart gender and life skill training to all children studying in residential schools, said Verma.

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Not a single case of sexual harassment in 1,100 state tribal schools: Govt report