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School gets Rs. 40L from PM’s kitty
Published on 5 Dec. 2009 1:15 AM IST
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A dusty 3km trek from NH-52 in Darrang district’s sleepy Hazarikapara village takes you to Jatiya Vidyalaya, the school of class VIII student Dhanjita Das, reports TNN. The structure with thatched walls and tin roof will soon be getting a Rs 40 lakh makeover, thanks to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is Assam’s Rajya Sabha MP, too. Last month, Dhanjita had met Singh as part of a delegation of talented students in New Delhi. Her description of the school during her interaction with the PM was: it’s bereft of some basic facilities and even mild showers force it to remain closed for months. This prompted Singh to allocate Rs 40 lakhs under the MP Local Area Development fund. The money will be used for an overall development of Jatiya Vidyalaya, the only educational centre within a 10km radius. Darrang deputy commissioner Dhrubojyoti Hazarika said a detailed project report has been prepared and sent to the PMO for approval. The building plan has also been prepared with the help of the PWD executive engineer. ‘‘As soon as the money (Rs 40 Lakh) reaches us, it will be used for overall improvement of the school, including the building,’’ Hazarika said. Surrounded by an expanse of golden yellow paddy fields, the Jatiya Vidyalaya is like any other school in Assam’s remote villages — forlorn and forgotten. It’s Dhanjita’s efforts that have drawn the Prime Minister’s attention to her school. There are about 643 primary schools in Darrang, and about 90 per cent of them are under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. ‘‘The Prime Minister certainly has a large heart. Otherwise, why should he be so kind to a small school, and that too, after a little girl’s appeal? We can’t help but feel proud of him,’’ Dhanjita’s elated father, Purna Das, said. He felt that the school, where 300-odd children study, has been in a sorry state for years owing to lack of funds. In recent years, a concrete building had been constructed with donation from a US-based Assamese NRI, Bhabani Sarma. The school has provisions for up to Class X. But its classrooms have thatched walls and a tin roof. ‘‘We got Rs 2 lakh from the former Mangaldoi MP. That amount was used in the foundation of the school. As there were no more funds, the walls are still thatched,’’ he said. Basanta Deka, president of The Mangaldoi Unnayan Parishad, a development NGO in the district headquarters town, said: ‘‘This (Prime Minister’s allocation of Rs 40 lakh) gesture has proved that he truly cares for Assam.’’

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