Not a dent, not a bump, not a pothole, the Toyota Innova was cruising along the road on an overcast day making the drive even more pleasant. Such was the drive on the Medchal highway road. I was told the CM’s farm house was not too far. In fact there was a big water tank that was visible from quite a distance which apparently was a newly built one to help with irrigating the 60 acres of land the CM had.
Of course our destination was not the CM’s farm house, instead it was off of the highway entering Gajwel Mandal, to the only govt. junior college in that mandal. It was may be a few kms inroads from the highway. The difference between the highway and the internal roads was very evident. They were busy, they were bumpy and they had potholes too.
The Govt. Junior College that is also the only all girls govt. college:
This government junior college is the only junior college in the entire Mandal in Medak district in Telangana.
The college has very poor infrastructure, no proper toilets, no proper desks, no proper drinking facilities. The staff and the principal wrote to the education departments many a times, but there were no funds allocated to either, repair, renovate or upgrade the infrastructure.
In the meanwhile, the newly formed Telangana government announces a new girls only junior college and that too with immediate effect. Guess, how this gets implemented – the existing junior college was asked to accommodate the girls only college by allowing multiple shifts with the same staff in the same college premises.
Subsequently a new building for the government college was approved which was 5 kms away from the new building. The commute would become a burden for the current students.
The college infrastructure:
Interacting with the students, I asked please raise the hands when I say the following
1) MPC: majority of the boys raised their hands
2) BPC: majority of the girls raised their hands
3) CEC: a few boys raised their hands
4) Electrical: A few boys raised their hands
5) Office Assistance: A handful of the boys raised their hands
6) Mechanical: A handful of the boys raised their hands
4),5),6) are part of vocational courses
I guess this distribution is somewhat similar when compared to how things were during my junior college days @ Loyola Academy, many many years ago.
But that’s where the similarly ends. The kids in this junior college had
1) No library
2) Insufficient desks to use
3) No proper toilet facilities
4) No proper drinking facilities
5) No proper lab facilities
I/We were extremely privileged to get all the opportunities I/We got and it only makes sense to use them to create opportunities wherever and however I/We can. This is probably what our teachers would have wanted us to do.
The staff and the principal had 3 very specific requests
1) Repair the toilets
2) Provide 100 desks, each desk can seat 3 students (cost of 4200 per desk including % VAT)
3) Provide a water purification system (50 LPH)
And finally it’s done:
The toilets were repaired. The broken doors were fixed, the toilets were cleaned and painted, the water connection was fixed.
The college now has a reverse osmosis plant which has a capacity of purifying 50 liters per hour. With almost 300 students in the college, the filter needs to be run for 4 hours to have water for all the kids.
Water and toilets are the bare minimum facilities and this college had neither of them, until now. All this took was a few tens of thousands of rupees and a few generous friends to help out.
One college done, but there are plenty more.
We probably see it everyday, walk past it everyday, drive past it everyday. No am not talking about the temple or the masjid but am taking about the school, more specifically am talking about the government school.
Next time, we see a govt. school, let’s also try going in and meet the kids, the teachers, the staff and experience the govt school up, close and personnel.
Simple reason that the kids going to the govt. schools or colleges are not mere statistics or not mere numbers satisfying the education quota’s or the educational budgets, they are there just like other kids to create opportunities for themselves.