At a Jalandhar school, a team of Rotarians led by PDG Dr Surinder Pal Singh Grover from RC Jalandhar West, D 3070, was shocked to find children sitting on jute mats and bending their tender backs to take notes. Some girls even dropped out of the school due to inadequate toilet facilities. And the teachers had to do with whatever basic amenities they could lay their hands on.
This led Grover and his team to undertake a project to completely revamp and give a makeover to three such schools — the Government Senior Secondary School, Gandhi Camp; SBT Model School, Sodhal Nagar; and Hindi Putri Senior Secondary School, Khanna — which were in a pathetic state. Given the bad condition of the schools and the magnitude of the task, the club got a global grant after roping in RC Norfolk Sunrise, D 7090, Canada, which contributed $10,000 for the project. “Our club mobilised around $11,875 for undertaking a number of civil works and setting up new facilities at the three schools. Our home district and D 7090 chipped in with $4,000 each, besides a TRF contribution of $18,500,” explains Grover.
Four gender-segregated toilet blocks were constructed in each of the three schools to ensure sanitation and hygiene. As students were made to sit on the floor during school hours, 200 steel benches were given to each school. “We put up new flooring with a smooth finish covering the courtyard, open space and some classrooms in need of urgent repair in all the three schools. All the interior and exterior walls of the schools were given a fresh coat of paint including the doors and windows. The boundary walls were reconstructed,” says PDG Grover, who is also the Project Chairman. Kumud Kumari Sharma, the Principal of the government school at Gandhi Camp, wrote a letter to the club, stating that the makeover was a morale boost for the teachers and the management. She thanked the Rotarians and TRF for renovating the school and ushering in congenial conditions for study. Around 3,000 students benefitted from the Happy Schools projects. The Rotarians also facilitated a training programme for 50 teachers through a four-member faculty led by Prof J K Gulati, Principal, Guru Nanak Dev University College, as part of the grant project.
The training programme made quite an impact on teaching us issues related to classroom behaviour and understanding the psychology of students.
— Resham Kaur, a teacher
“Gulati and his trainers made quite an impact on teaching us issues related to classroom behaviour and understanding the psychology of students which will benefit us in the long run,” says Resham Kaur, a teacher who mediates with the club.