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The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Center, all States and Union Territories on a petition seeking direction to authorities to take immediate steps to improve the condition of government schools which are functioning in a hopeless condition. A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam issued notices after hearing counsel for the petitioner NGO Social Jurist who contended that in a large number of schools, in remote areas and in Delhi, classes are being held under tree or in tents and there is no fan in the classroom and all children have no protection against the vagaries of nature. The President of the NGO Ashok Agarwal, who is an advocate also, contended that such sub-standard and hopeless conditions prevailing in the schools amounted to violation of the Fundamental Right of education especially to children in the age group of 5 to 14, majority of whom belong to weaker and downtrodden sections of society. He also contended that in many cases even basic amenities like water and electricity are not being provided and attitude of the authorities concerned towards the plight of children is callous, indifferent and inhumane and the authorities seem to have lost all sense of responsibilities and duties towards the lakhs of children studying in government and government-aided schools. UNI
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