Gwalior: Positively impacting the way 750 schools may not sound like a very big effort when there are over 1.4 million primary and secondary schools in the country. Add the senior secondary schools and the number crosses 1.5 million comfortably.
But when the 750th school under the Support My School campaign was dedicated to the country, it rings a positive change that is sometimes hard to come by. The event may not have been of national importance by the silent change that the campaign has brought about has certainly changed the lives of children and their families.
Gwalior has a long and rich history, but Amrol is just one of the 600,000 villages in the country. Its proximity to the historical city has been an advantage. That could be one reason why the school enjoys a 50:50 ratio for boys and girls.
Anjana, daughter of Pran Singh Khushwaha, caught the attention of everyone around when she topped the school with 93 per cent marks in the class X examinations. Anjana now wants to continue her higher studies and train to become a doctor. With nearly a dozen and a half teachers, students are certainly better off than village schools in some other parts of the country. It also manages to attract students from nearby villages of Chak, Kachhua and Shivnagar.
Anjana’s dream could well be the social change that Amrol may want to happen. For her farmer father, earning a decent livelihood is a challenge because the agricultural crisis that the state is facing. According to Madhya Pradesh police 581 farmers and farm workers committed suicide during 2015. Unable to get rid of the debt burden has often been the cause of farmer suicides across the country.
Anjana’s impressive result should certainly have been the talk among the school's 15 teachers. It could well be the inspiration for students too. With every child added to the coverage under the Support My School programme, the change could be getting bigger. At the programme at Amrol Government School, when the children took the pledge for sanitation and hygiene in their school, it was a change that they had committed to work for.
Selected schools across the country have been provided with improved water availability and sanitary conditions of toilets, painting of walls, refurbishing of the science laboratory and the library under the Support My School programme. Hopefully, the intervention in each school, depending on its need, will be inviting enough for the children to go to school regularly.
Support My School is also closely aligned to the government’s Swachh Bharat programme. Support My School, launched in 2011, looks to change the water, sanitation and hygiene in select schools across the country.