Following complaints of poor quality of shoes supplied to government school students across the state, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is thinking of supplying them through the state-run Leather Industries Development Corporation (LIDKAR) from the next academic year.
The DPI also plans to cancel the power it had granted to the School Development Monitoring Committee (SDMCs) to buy shoes.
Sources in the Department of Public Instruction told Deccan Chronicle that the department received several complaints against school heads and SDMCs from students, parents and elected representatives on the poor quality of shoes and socks supplied to government school students. They said the shoes lasted only for five months.
Deputy commissioners, zilla panchayat chief executive officers of various districts, chief minister, primary education minister S Suresh Kumar and higher officials of DPI have been apprised of the poor quality of shoes and socks supplied to students at different meetings.
The state government has been supplying a pair of shoes and two pairs of socks to over 48 lakh students studying in government schools from class 1 to 10, which costs the exchequer Rs 120-150 crore under its ‘Shoe Bhagya’ scheme.
The government has fixed `225 for a pair of shoes and two pairs of socks for class 1-5 students, Rs 250 for classes 6-8 and Rs 275 for classes 9-10.
Funds from the government are released to respective taluk headmasters and shoes are procured by SDMCs locally. There are allegations that several SDMCs and members of the school staff are taking a cut in the amount allocated for shoes and socks and they submitted inflated bills for poor quality of shoes supplied. The shoes bought were neither branded nor conformed to ISI standards. Also, the shoes supplied did not carry batch numbers.
The DPI plans to distribute shoes made by Lidkar, which will be called Dr Babu Jagjivanram Leather Development Corporation from the next academic year....