Hindi Medium in real life: Delhi man arrested after faking economic status for son's nursery admission

The crime went unnoticed for almost five years and was only caught when Goel tried to get his second son admitted in the same way.

 |  3-minute read |   08-04-2018
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Art imitates life and life imitates art back. It’s an endless cycle.

The 2017 Bollywood comedy Hindi Medium managed to cast light on many things including the harrowing experience of school admissions that parents face every year, especially in Delhi. In the film, actor Irrfan Khan and his family, though wealthy, pretended to be poor so that they could ensure a seat for their child.

Cut to 2018 and Gaurav Goel, a Delhi-based businessman, has been arrested by the police for faking his economic status in an attempt to get his son a seat in one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the capital: Sanskriti School in Chanakyapuri.

In 2013, Goel, who runs various businesses and is also the owner of an MRI centre and is the resident of North Delhi’s of Jawahar Nagar, faked his economic status and address — he provided a Sanjay Camp slums address, declared Rs 67,000 as his annual earnings, and provided false EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) certificates — in order to convince the authorities about his poverty.

hindi_040818062439.jpgPhoto: Screengrab/Amazon Prime Video

His crime went unnoticed for almost five years and was only caught when Goel tried to get his second son admitted to the school in the same way. The school administration grew suspicious of Goel after they found major discrepancies, not least when Goel told them that he could shift his elder son to the general category and requested the school administration to change his address to Safdarjung Enclave, a posh colony in Delhi, because his financial condition had improved. They soon went to the police.

After an FIR was filed against the businessman, the police found out that Goel had been lying to the administration to avail the quota. DCP Madhur Verma said, "In 2013, they got EWS papers and filed (Rs) 67,000 as their annual income... But papers also showed that he had filed (Rs) 4.5 lakh income tax return. They stay in Jawahar Nagar they run a pulses business as well as an MRI centre. However, during admission, he had shown that he is an employee at the centre."

Goel’s elder son, a student of Class 3, has been told to leave the school by the authorities.

Almost like it happened in the film Hindi Medium, not only did Goel manage to fake his way into a system designed for the economically marginalised, he also managed to take away these sops from those who need it the most. According to an India Today report, people staying in the Sanjay Camp slums said they had been applying to school under EWS to get their children admitted but were rejected every year.

A parent said, "I try to get my daughter admitted each year, but it never happens. Just because this man was rich he managed to get his children quality education. Is this the state of our system where the poor will continue to suffer?"

Also read: Why Bollywood is guilty of normalising crimes and glorifying criminals

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