Children of lesser Gods in trouble

Puri: Multi national companies sell dreams to local persons where projects are to be established in the state. And to win over the locals promise philanthropic works. But often such promises turn into damp squibs. Like the Vedants have done with about 500 DAV school students in Puri. Dark clouds hover over the the future of the 500 students with the future of the proposed Vedanta University hanging in the balance.

The Vedantas to win over the locals who opposed displacement for establishment of the university promised the families to provide free education to their children for ten years. The Vedant University authorities entered into an agreement with the DAV public school in 2007 and assured to bear the cost of providing education to the 500 students belonging to the displaced families.

However, the Vedanta University faced stiff opposition from local people and even got entangled in legal battles. The future of the university became uncertain. Hence the multi national company gradually stopped financing the students. "The Vedantas stopped paying for my child and we were in trouble,"said the guardian of a student. About 100 students including girls have already dropped out. The DAV school principal Kaveri Samal while admitting that the students have already left the school however feigned ignorance about any agreement between the school and Vedant authorities.

The Vedant administration were not available for comments. However, the district collector Arvind Agarawal expressed his helplessness to intervene in the matter."We cannot do anything till the legal disputes are over,"said Argarwal. What is certain however is the fact the future of the students has been pushed into uncertainty.