Nava Kerala Sadas: School students made to wait under blazing sun to greet chief minister

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Thalassery: Several students, including those studying in lower primary classes, were reportedly made to stand under the blazing sun for almost an hour to greet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other ministers attending the Nava Kerala Sadas, in violation of the norms.

The students were made to stand in the sun despite a strict directive against doing so without the permission of the Department of Education. There is also a stricture saying students should not be made to stand in the open for more than seven minutes even for school assemblies.

The students were lined up by the road by around 11 am at 32-32 degrees Celsius to greet the chief minister and his cabinet of ministers proceeding to the Nava Kerala Sadas at Panur in the Koothuparamba Assembly constituency from Thalassery. The children waited under the sun till the chief minister’s motorcade passed through the spot at 12 noon.

Incidentally, none of the students were from the Koothuparamba Assembly segment. They were the students of the Chambad LPS, Chothavoor High School, and Chambad UPS in the Thalassery Assembly segment represented by Speaker AN Shamseer.

People were also arranged to shower flowers on the chief minister and his entourage.

Earlier, the Principal of the College of Engineering had issued a notice, urging students to attend the Nava Kerala Sadas. The notice was reportedly issued at the behest of Speaker Shamseer.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Students’ Union is planning to take up the matter with the High Court. Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the student wing of Indian Union Muslim League lodged a complaint with the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights against making children stand under the hot sun to greet the ministers. Right-wing students’ organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) made a similar complaint to the National Child Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, the Kerala CM praised the children for their gesture. “Children are innocent. They are waiting in hordes by the road to wave hands at the bus,” said Pinarayi Vijayan at Iritty.

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