Madhubala is a young and mischievous 13 year old girl. Since the past one year, she was struggling with her school admissions. Her school life has been a bit different. Madhubala finished her primary studies quite well. But at the very beginning of 6th standard, her parents decided to move to their native village. Madhubala, hence, withdrew her admission from her school and took the “school leaving certificate” at the beginning of session. In her village, she got admission in 7th standard directly. She went to the village school for an entire year. Eventually, her family moved back to Delhi in the following year, and here began the Admission Scenario. At the beginning of November, Madhu’s parents went to the same school where she used to study before their one year migration. They tried to get her in standard 8th. The school is a Government School for girls, named Sarvodaya Kanya Vidhyalya (SKV). When Madhu’s parents approached the principal for their daughter’s admission, the principal simply refused to allow Madhu into the school for some unknown reason. Later, she put her explanations as that “According to the school’s rules & regulations, they do not allow to take any kind of new admission in the middle of an Academic session.” So, for the time, Madhu’s admission was not quite possible. It was wise to try next year.
Meanwhile, Madhu gained her education at ROPIO only. She was the only child at ROPIO who was not going to a school. As soon as the next academic year began Neeraj, Akash, Kajal, Sunny and I (Ankit) went to the school to convince the principal for her admissions, but luck just did not favour us in this case. For a number of days, Madhu took one of us along her to the school for her admission. We were running out of time, our college vacations were almost over. We did not seem to have much time to sort out this situation. I felt sorry for Madhu, as she curiously and doubtfully asked me everyday “Bhaiya mera admission to ho jaayega naa?” But I remained speechless. I was counting on my faith. And Finally I made a promise to Madhu that I would get her admission done, before my college begins.
It was a big responsibility for me. Every morning, Madhu knocked the door at around 8’o clock and woke me. This part disgusted me the most as I am one of those people who love to sleep for long and it being my vacation time, sleeping till 10 was nothing unusual, but I had made a promise. Madhu and I would go to her school every third day, but it was getting us nowhere. No one out of the school staff was willing to cooperate. The security guards of the school told us that “the madam who does the admissions has not come.” Every day we would hear the same thing. Finally after the practise of the same schedule day in and day out, I got a chance. I was hoping for the principal of the school to help me out. I thought that of being persistent but nothing worked out. She shattered all my expectations into pieces when she refused to give Madhu admission again. I asked her for a reason but got none. I could not figure out how to go about it, what confused me was the unexpected question from the principle. She asked me, with a cold face, “Why are you desperately perusing us for Madhu’s admission, she is not eligible for 8th standard” She told me that Madhu’s Class 7th certificate had an incorrect Date of birth and unknowingly, her mother tried to make the corrections with a pen and that’s how, due to the lack of awareness, she ended up with Madhu’s DOB certificate all messed up. So the idea of Madhu’s admission in 8th class got cancelled but then I began to pursue the principle to give her admission in the 7th standard. At that time, the standard did not matter, what bothered me was to get Madhu in school anyhow. But facts are facts, and here the fact goes like this, Madhubala’s parents collected her Scool Leaving Certificate at the very beginning of 6th standard, so accordingly, she cannot get admission in 7th and anyway, education at village level doesn’t count for much, so her having studied in the 7th there did not make much of a difference. Again, with truckloads of hope, I somehow managed to ask the school authority one more time for madhu’s admission but this time the request was for class 6. I felt that it was like some sort of joke. I was negotiating with those people like some shopkeeper at the market. I was just putting in my full effort to cut a deal. This time the principal said that Madhu did not lie in the age bracket of the 6th standard. At that moment, I was about to lose my temper, it seemed like she was heel bent on not taking Madhu in, but I controlled. On the way back home from the school, we were suggested by a man to go and approach some higher authority if the school was not helping, and so we did. Madhu’s father is an auto-rickshaw driver. He took us to the District Office of Education for the West Delhi area in Karampura. At the First day, it did not work out as we expected but next day onwards our case seemed to go pretty well. In the district office, a person called Marshal Ross met us, he was the head of that department and he was a very helpful man too. He listened to the tragedy of Madhu’s admission in school very carefully. He was a very understanding person. He asked me to write a letter mentioning all problems we have been facing in the past few days after which, he would stamp on the letter that would let Madhu get admission in any school within the area she resides. Later that day, I went to the SKV and met the principle one more time. She saw my face and said impolitely that “Don’t you get that Madhu’s admission is not possible in this school” and I simply replied “Ma’am, at least let me say what I came to say before you”. With a carefree attitude she said “OK”. I told her the entire scenario that we had gone through, about our visit to Education Department and our meeting with Marshal Ross. As soon as I finished, I presented her the letter. It seemed as if I had screwed her happiness by complaining against her. There was a sudden change in her voice and behaviour. In a calm voice she said, “Why did you go to the Education Department, we could have solved it here only?” I was laughing within myself.
The principle accepted the application and asked us to come after 10 days until the application gets verified.
We went to school after 10-12 days. We met the concerned teacher who does the admissions. She accepted Madhu’s application form and asked her to join next day. The only condition the principle had put on us would was that Madhu will be studying in Hindi medium.
Now here is the funniest part of the story, Madhu got admission in 8th standard but she has not finished her 6th class. After primary level she straight away entered in 8th standard. Madhu has to now work really hard to move forward in life, it is going to be difficult, but she has got us to back her up. After all she is a very important part of ROPIO.