Community Correspondent Neeru Rathod brings another video from Gujarat’s Sayla Block in Surendranagar District. This primary school has classes from the first to the eighth grade and caters to students from all over the Block. When Neeru reached here to film, she was stunned by the abysmal infrastructure in the school. Added to that was the fact that there weren’t enough teachers to manage classes and the Principal is completely unresponsive.
First up, the water from the school tank is filthy. The students complain that it tastes bitter and looks cloudy. Many have climbed up to top of the tank to check out the cause of this foul taste and were disgusted by the contents of the tank. There were lizards, bugs and all kinds of moss growing there. So now, most of them bring water from their houses.
“We can’t help it, we have to make do with the one bottle we carry to school. So we take small sips of it throughout the day to make the water last”, says Payal, a student in the 8th grade.
This, in Gujarat where summer temperatures reach anywhere over 45 degrees Celsius and the heat slowly saps all the life out of you… The problem for the students doesn’t end here, they have found it impossible to tell outsiders about this terrible water quality. On every occasion where visitors and dignitaries come to visit the school, the principal orders a tanker of water and supplies guests water from that.
Neeru has now visited around 10 schools in Sayla and its neighbouring blocks. She finds in many places that the conditions under which students have to study are terrible. She says:
“In this particular school, just wandering in the direction of the toilet made me nauseous. I started thinking how these girls managed an entire day here. For those who live close by, it was still OK but for others…”
As a champion of education for all, Neeru understands fully well how each of these little factors contributes to students dropping out, especially the girls. After a long gap in her own education, Neeru is currently studying to be a lawyer; another skill in her repertoire to right the wrongs of injustice and poverty she sees around her on a daily basis.
With the issue now documented, Neeru ask you to join these girls and boys in demanding their right to education.
Call to Action: Please call the District Education Officer, GD Kanani on 09909970219 and ask him to ensure that this school gets all the facilities that it needs to be RTE compliant.