Art imitates life and life imitates art in return. It’s a never-ending cycle.
Bollywood comedy 2017 Middle Hindi has managed to shed light on many things, including the heart-wrenching experience of school admissions that parents face every year, especially in Delhi. In the film, actor Irrfan Khan and his family, although rich, pretended to be poor in order to secure a place for their child.
Cut to 2018 and Gaurav Goel, a Delhi-based businessman, was stopped by the police for having simulated his economic situation in order to obtain a place for his son in one of the most prestigious educational establishments in the capital: the Sanskriti school of Chanakyapuri.
In 2013, Goel, who runs various businesses and is also the owner of an MRI center and a resident of North Delhi in Jawahar Nagar, falsified his economic status and address – he provided an address for the slum area of Sanjay Camp, declared Rs 67,000 as his income and provided fake EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) certificates – in order to convince the authorities of his poverty.
Photo: Amazon Prime screenshot / video
His crime went unnoticed for nearly five years and was only arrested when Goel attempted to get his second son admitted to school in the same way. The school administration became suspicious of Goel after discovering major discrepancies, including when Goel told them he could transfer his eldest son to the general category and asked the administration of the school to change its address to Safdarjung Enclave, a posh colony in Delhi, because its financial situation had improved. They quickly surrendered to the police.
After an FIR was filed against the businessman, police discovered that Goel lied to the administration in order to claim the quota. DCP Madhur Verma said: “In 2013 they got EWS papers and deposited (Rs) 67,000 as annual income… But the documents also showed he had filed (Rs) 4.5 lakh of declaration of They stay in Jawahar Nagar where they run a pulse business as well as an MRI center. However, upon admission, he had shown that he was an employee of the center.
Goel’s eldest son, a grade 3 student, was ordered to leave school by the authorities.
Almost like it happened in the movie Middle Hindi, not only has Goel succeeded in pretending to break into a system designed for economically marginalized people, but he has also succeeded in removing these sops from those who need them most. According to a India today report, people staying in the slums of Sanjay Camp said they applied for school enrollment under the SAP to have their children admitted, but were turned down every year.
One parent said, “I try to get my daughter admitted every year, but it never happens. Just because this man was rich, he managed to give his children a quality education. Is this the state of our system where the poor will continue to suffer? “
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