SRINAGAR: Srinagar city Mayor Junaid Mattu has assured that Bilal Dar, the young environmentalist and brand ambassador of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), will be sent back to school to complete his education after he was made to quit his school by an official of the SMC.
Mattu in his communication to Commissioner SMC, a copy of which is with this newspaper, has said that Dar’s efforts of continuing his education and working simultaneously needed to be appreciated. He said that Dar’s admission at Padshahi Bagh school in Class 8 needs to be taken up with the Director of School Education (DSEK).
“Going back to school while working represents a considerable sacrifice of personal time and finances, and needs to be appreciated. Besides, the matter may be taken up with director education to guide and confirm his admission for 8th standard in the high school, Padshahi Bagh, so that he may continue his education,” reads the letter of the Mayor.
Before the letter was issued, Mattu held a conversation with Dar and listened to his grievances.
“I met the mayor sir. He assured me that I will go to school again. My attendance at school will be regarded as attendance at SMC. The same will also be used to release my salary. I am really happy now,” Dar told Kashmir Reader.
Bilal Dar was appointed brand ambassador of SMC to inform people about segregation of waste at source in 2017. He was even admitted to a school which he had dropped out of due to poverty when he was in Class 5. He later began cleaning Wular lake, Asia’s largest freshwater lake, and his work featured in a documentary that brought him into prominence. He was handpicked by ex-SMC Commissioner Dr Shafqat Khan to be the municipality’s brand ambassador for environmental protection. Indian PM Narendra Modi also congratulated Bilal and called him an inspiration. But soon after the removal of Khan, he was asked to quit his education by an official of the SMC.
Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran was the first to take note of Kashmir Reader’s report on the denial of education to Bilal. He called Bilal to his office and talked to him. Subsequently, he wrote to the SMC Commissioner to ensure Bilal’s schooling, the release of his honorarium on time, and to conduct an inquiry into reasons that led him to drop out from school.