Udaipur : Display or sale of tobacco or tobacco related products within 200 meters of educational institutions is strictly banned by court, however, turning a blind eye to the mandatory provisions, the school development and monitoring committee (SDMC)of a government senior secondary school at Borav in Chittorgarh district has rented out the entire school building and premises to a bidi manufacturer from Ajmer who has the contract for Tendu patta or the beedi leaves collection. Huge stock of the tendu patta leaves collected from the forest areas are being stocked here with sacks seen all over the classrooms, galleries and even the school ground.
Meanwhile, when the matter was brought to the notice of the additional district education officer Mitthulal Rebari, he said he wasnt aware of the act.” If such activity is going on in any school, it is wrong and proper action would be taken after an enquiry” the officer said.
According to sources, the SDMC decided to rent out the building premises to generate some revenue while the school was closed for summer break. Sources claim, the committee had failed to utilize a fund of 2lakh rupees that was sanctioned for the development work. The school is chosen under the Adarsh Vidyalaya Scheme of the state government. Hence, after the budget lapsed, the committee members thought of a way to compensate for the loss and hence unanimously agreed to rent out the school premises to the beedi manufacturer. Some of the activists in the area objected to the decision when they saw the tendu leaves stock piled all over the area and curious students watching the process of storage every day. ” The labourers doing the collection work are stationed at the school and there are liquor bottles, beedi packets seen in classrooms where these people live and cook their meals. Overall this is leaving a bad impact on the minds of the students which is not correct” one of the activist told Udaipur Kiran.
According to sources, Tendu leaves collection is at peak in the area and not only at Borav but other places like Bassi,Abhaypur, Vijaypur,Begu, Bainsroadgarh and Chenchi government school buildings are being rented out to beedi makers for the storage of the leaves before being transported to the beedi factories. ” Tendu leaves are considered themost suitable covering on account of the simplicity with which it can be rolled and wide availability. There is no other purpose behind its mass collection and hence the entire procedure leaves a bad message on the student community whereever, such school buildings are given on rent” a child activist claimed.