Uttar Pradesh basic education department admits shoes were of poor quality

The state basic education department has admitted that out of 1,72,113 pair of shoes that were distributed in Lucknow to the children in government run primary and upper primary schools, approximately 15,000 shoes found to be damaged.

In an official comment dated April 4, 2018, director basic education Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh said the shoes that were bought were sent to Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI), Noida, a government body, for lab testing too.

Hindustan Times in a front page report — With shoes worth Rs 266 cr in tatters, UP kids walk ‘barefoot’ to schools —on March 28 had highlighted how students were using rubber bands to carry on with the gifted pair of shoes.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court has taken suo moto cognizance of the HT report. The HC on March 28, had directed the state government to place before it “the complete record pertaining to the tender process.”

The state government has spent ₹135.75 on a pair of shoes. The shoes were distributed between October and November last year. As per the terms of contract, the supplier had furnished warranty of 12 months for replacement in case of damage.

Singh’s official comment reads that as of now the process is underway to get the damaged shoes replaced. The new pairs will once again undergo lab testing by FDDI, to ensure quality.