Teacher's Diary: When students volunteered to build a pucca building for their school
A teacher recalls the times when he, as a student, contributed in the construction of his school building because there was unavailability of labour in his village.
Ramanuj Pathak 14 Feb 2023 1:45 PM GMT
It was the decade of the 1980s and most of the schools in the rural hinterland were not as organised as they are today. It was usual for some of the classes to be held under a tree or out in the open. As students, we desperately craved for our school to have a pucca building.
About 500 metres away from my house in Duwahiyan village in Madhya Pradesh's Satna district was a raised platform under a neem tree and that was the spot where our classes were held regularly. In 1990, I was studying in class 5 and I clearly remember that was the year when a building was approved for our school. There were 70-80 students in the school but there was an immense shortage of labour in the village in those days. Our guru, Ramlal Sharma asked us if we could volunteer for some work at the construction site to which students considered to be a great privilege.
All the students carried bricks on our heads and thus contributed in the construction for the school. You might look at at with a negative perspective that children were being made to work but my heart stands witness to the feeling we had those days. We felt a sense of accomplishment as we had desperately craved for years to have a building for our school.
Also, we used to see our teacher making herculean efforts to teach us. He used to live in a village which was five kilometres away from the school and used to commute daily on his bicycle. Be it scorching heat, heavy rains or freezing winters, he used to ensure that the classes were held regularly. It was his hard work which inspired us to do something for our school and we happily did it.