CHHATRAPATI SAMBHAJINAGAR: The Bombay high court‘s Aurangabad bench directed the district collector Monday to provide a boat or a motor boat with an attendant, life jackets and floaters from Tuesday (September 12) to enable children from Bhiw Dhanora village to travel across the Jayakwadi dam backwaters to school.
The bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and YG Khobragade was hearing a suo motu PIL arising from a TOI report in its edition dated August 27, 2023, about the children risking their lives daily by rowing thermocol rafts across the deep waters to school and back.
“The court specifically noticed the efforts of six girls and three boys, aged 8-11 years, and appreciated their courage and determination to attend school,” lawyer Pushkar Shendurnikar, amicus curiae (friend of the court), told TOI. “The bench also took note of the treacherous journey undertaken by these children with the help of thermocol rafts and oars across the deep waters and fighting venomous snakes,” Shendurnikar added.
The HC had taken cognisance of the TOI report on August 29, converting it into a suo motu PIL and appointing Shendurnikar as amicus curiae. Shendurnikar has since visited Bhiw Dhanora to get first-hand experience of the students’ problems faced by the students. The court acknowledged his efforts.
The bench issued notices to the Maharashtra chief secretary and others seeking responses by October 12 when the PIL will be heard next. The others include principal secretaries in the departments of rural development, irrigation, public works, school education and finance.
“The HC also directed notices to be issued to the Aurangabad collector, zilla parishad and the deputy director of education for primary and secondary schools for response,” Shendurnikar said.

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