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Unable to pay fee demanded by a private school in Hyderabad, a 15-year-old Class 10 student, U Yashaswini allegedly died by suicide on Friday, 12 February.
The Quint has learnt that the deceased child was a student of Ravindra Bharati School, Neredmet, Hyderabad.
The school authorities were pressurising the student to pay a sum of Rs 3,000, which her parents, who were daily wage labourers, were not able to cough up.
According to initial reports with Hyderabad police, the girl’s father Hari Prasad has lodged a complaint about the school’s insistence on a hefty fee. It is not clear whether the complaint was lodged prior to the child’s demise.
The student had not gone to the school ‘fearing humiliation’, the parents accused. “She had asked us to tell the school administration that she is hospitalised because she did not want to face them,” Prasad told media personnel on Friday. While he had expected her to stay at home, the minor hanged to death in their home.
The parents, who are daily wage earners, have been out of work for months, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they told media persons.
The parents had cleared some of the dues earlier, they vouched. A total of Rs 15,000 was paid to the school three months ago, the parents said.
Speaking to The Quint a Neredmet police officer said, “The parents have not alleged that the school harassed her. It is the humiliation that the student faced, which led her to take the extreme step, we suspect.”
In Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had asked school administrations not to extract fee from students if their parents lack the means to pay the amount. In a public statement issued in March 2020, he had asked authorities not to collect fee.
In January, the school educational department had also issued an order asking school administrations to register students for SSC (Class 10) board examination, irrespective of fee dues.