Photo: Abid Hussain Barlaskar
The 11-day wait: GD Goenka finally meets anguished parents

Posted: Aug 12, 2017     By Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Eleven days after the death of Armaan Sehgal, a 10-year-old student of GD Goenka Public School, Indirapuram, who died under mysterious circumstances on the school premises, the school authorities broke their silence on the incident with a meeting with the school’s parents, followed by a press meet.

Speaking to City Spidey, parents said that due to the continued extension of the school holidays, they had planned to the meet the school administration today. They also pointed out that they had a set of issues that had to be immediately addressed by the school management.

Aditya Chopra, a parent who was present at the meeting, said that they primarily wanted the school to reopen as soon as possible, as the children’s studies were getting affected. “A sudden extended holiday of this kind, that too in mid-session, is uncalled for and will impact children’s studies,” Chopra said.

He added that the situation had left the children confused and wondering why their classes were not resuming.

The parents had raised issues such as the junior classes being shifted to the ground floor, ensuring that the tiles weren’t slippery, that there was constant watch on the staircases and better overall security.

Although the parents demanded a meeting with Ankur Malhotra, chairman of the school, they could only raise their issues with Kavita Sharma, the principal, and others from the school management.

The parents present at the school today had also started a signature campaign attached with a letter addressed to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the district magistrate of Ghaziabad. The letter demanded a balance between the investigation of Armaan Sehgal’s death and the welfare of other students. “We request the school and the administrative authorities of the state to ensure classes are resumed at the earliest,” read the letter.


The parents' signature campaign


The parents have also decided to form a parents’ association to communicate their issues to the school authorities. The group will be headed by a core committee of members. “The association will keep track of parent-teacher meetings and will also raise issues about the welfare of the students,” said a parent who had volunteered for being a member of the core committee.

However, following the meeting, parents said they were disappointed that the meeting happened at the behest of the parents and not the school authorities. The latter only turned up when parents started to mount pressure on them for a formal meeting.

Due to objections from both the school authorities and some parents present, today’s meet was off-limits for the media. After the meeting, the parents expressed mixed feelings to City Spidey. While some maintained that they had a satisfactory exchange with Kavita Sharma, the school’s principal, others said today’s meeting was only lip service and there was little hope that the school would actually act on the parents’ issues.

Parents also said the school remained tight-lipped on the incidents throughout the meeting, but assured them classes would resume on Wednesday, August 16.

TAGS: GD Goenka / Armaan / Armaan Sehgal / Death / Accident / Murder / School / Authorities / Parents / Students