Maratha Quota Stir: Parents Keep Away Kids from Schools in Maharashtra's Parbhani District
School (Representational Image/ Photo Credit: PTI)

Parbhani, Aug 7: Maratha community members from at least two villages in Maharashtra's Parbhani district have stopped sending their children to schools in support of the quota demand. The Maratha families, most of them farmers from Sarola Budruk and Takalgavhan villages in Pathri taluka, feel that sending their wards to schools is of no use, as there are no jobs in government.

At least 85 students of total 118 have not been attending the Zilla Parishad (ZP)-run primary and secondary school in Sarola Budruk village since August 4, a teacher said today on the condition of anonymity.

"Of the 118 students, only 33 students had attended the school in the last two days," he said. Some parents said today that they would not send their wards to schools until the state government announced reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and education.

The parents today submitted a memorandum to the Block Development Officer (BDO) stating that "it is useless to send the children to schools, as there are no jobs available due to lack of reservation". There are one or two private schools in Sarola Budruk village, apart from the Zilla Parishad school, which has population of around 3000-4000. The attendance in the private schools is also very less, a local government official said.

In Pathri, around 15,000 children about 9,000 from the Maratha community get free education from Class 1 to Class 10 in 105 zilla parishad schools.

Similarly, parents in Takalgavhan village, with population of around 5000, stopped sending their children to schools from August 4.

Hundreds of students from various schools in Pathri and other villages yesterday participated in a peaceful agitation, led by a Maratha reservation group, in front of the tehsil office in Pathri. The Sakal Matatha Morcha has been holding the agitation in Parbhani district for quota in government jobs and education since July 19.

During yesterday's protests, many students spoke passionately about how their parents had suffered in absence of dedicated reservation for the community. The students yesterday submitted a memorandum to Deputy Collector Umakant Pardhi demanding quota.

The agitation passed off peacefully, said police inspector Vidyasagar Shreemanwar. Vilas Patil, a teacher from a school in Pathri, said the students had joined the protest after attending their schools. The politically-influential Maratha community, constituting around 30 per cent of Maharashtra's population, has been agitating to press their demand for reservation in jobs and education under the OBC category. The community, which had held violent protests in various parts of the state last month, has warned of fresh wave of protests from August 9, if the state government fails to grant them quota by then.