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Amid a flurry of comments over providing shoes, socks and uniforms to students in government schools, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Chief DK Shivakumar on Friday, July 8, said he would “beg, borrow” in order to provide amenities that have been deprived to the students of the entire state.
“If the government doesn’t have money, I will walk on the streets of Karnataka. I will beg, borrow and give shoes and socks to the students of the entire state,” Shivakumar said.
“If the government doesn’t have money, I’m there and the people of Karnataka are there. There are various organisations. In Congress, we have given 2 per cent for CSR. We’ll collect and donate,” he added.
The KPCC chief’s comments come in response to Karnataka education minister BC Nagesh’s statement that children should go to schools “to get education, and not for shoes and socks.”
The BJP leader and minister made these remarks in Kalaburagi, while responding to questions by the media on the delay in providing shoes and socks to children in government schools across the state.
“Our first importance is for children to come to school for education…Siddaramaiah talks about shoes and socks. Do kids come to school for education or for shoes and socks?” Nagesh said.
Nagesh’s remarks attracted sharp criticism from opposition leader, Siddaramaiah, who, in a series of tweets, slammed the education minister’s comments as “inhumane and deplorable.”
“The statement by the Education minister is inhumane and deplorable. If he had known the struggle of the students who walk barefoot to schools, he wouldn’t have said this,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.
“We had implemented child-friendly schemes so that the children of Dalits, backward class and poor people of all castes have self-esteem and get motivated to learn and go to school. Dear BC Nagesh, how will you understand these issues when you are neck-deep in corruption?” he said.
Further, he added, “According to the report submitted by the government to the High Court, about 10.12 lakh children are out of school. Dear BC Nagesh, if the future of these children is ruined, it will be due to the irresponsibility of the BJP government in Karnataka.”
Responding to the Congress, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said there is no need to create an issue as a decision has already been taken to procure shoes, socks and uniforms for government schools.
“During Covid, DK Shivakumar also begged to raise funds. What happened to that?” he retorted.
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