Principals’ negligence and funds misappropriation plaguing Gurukuls in Telangana

Negligence among principals has been identified as the root cause of a series of incidents plaguing social welfare Gurukul educational institutions. Recent events, including the Mudhole Gurukul College incident in Nirmal district four months ago and a similar occurrence in Bhongir school, highlight a compromise in quality standards in food preparation and lax supervision.

Last January, 76 students fell ill at Mudhole Social Welfare Gurukul College in Nirmal district after consuming contaminated food, leading to hospitalizations due to vomiting and diarrhea. Following this incident, an inquiry committee, headed by Joint Secretary Anantalakshmi, was appointed to investigate. 

The committee’s findings pointed to a failure by principals to implement recommended measures from medical officers, along with inadequate cleanliness standards across the campus facilities. The committee also noted issues such as malfunctioning toilets and students resorting to open defecation, increasing susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Moreover, discrepancies were found in the provision of food items, with the caretaker issuing less sweet oil than required. Despite the committee’s report submitted on March 12, little action has been taken besides issuing a memo to the principal and caretaker.

The ongoing negligence extends to other aspects of Gurukul school management, with allegations of substandard goods being used by deputy wardens and caretakers, who purportedly share profits with principals. Maintenance funds allocated to Gurukul schools and colleges for sanitation and other programs are allegedly being misappropriated, raising questions about accountability.

Despite the existence of a vigilance department tasked with inspections, student and teacher associations claim its efficacy is minimal.