The Optimist Citizen

Students from a school in Assam are toiling away to make a road and toilets for the locals who are mostly low daily wage earners

850 students of the Assam Valley School at Balipara, around 200 km northeast of Guwahati, are accomplishing what the civic bodies of there couldn’t. These students have collected and contributed over Rs.3.5 lakh, along with their own physical efforts, to pave a 90-metre road to Khelmati weekly market near Balipara on which the farmers and locals are highly dependent for their daily wages.

The roads near this area are mostly slushy, owing to the rain fury, which lasts 6 or more months in a good rainy season. This makes the market inaccessible for the local people and hence creates a huge dilemma for the market vendors.

The foundation of this Road Pavement Project was all set up by four students namely Sukanya Hazarika, Rohit Agarwal, Ayushi Jain and Shreyansh Agarwal of the school’s Social Service. It was on their procurement and insistence that the 60 students of this league came into action and brought together more students from their school for completion of this mission, dedicated to betterment and change.

The road which got washed away every year has now been laid by the students using cement blocks to prevent the damage and destruction that is caused in every year. Although masons were engaged, most of the physical work had been done by the students. The hard work is paying off, with half the road complete, Debjani Sarma Bora, a teacher in charge of the league informed a leading News daily that Members of the league and other students have completed laying a 42-metre stretch of the road. The students will resume work soon to complete the rest of the road. And this is not an end to the students’ contribution. Some part of the amount donated has also been allocated to building toilets for girls growing up in an unprivileged community.

The school’s curriculum pays a lot of emphasis on social service. Students are accustomed to visit orphanages and patients at local hospitals. They are also expected to help out at least one illiterate person. Apart from this, it is also customary or the students to teach in schools run by nearby tea estates for children of plantation workers. The principal of the institute, Sonya Gandhy Mehta stated that, “Our school believes in preparing children for life, where skill development is more important than knowledge acquisition and teaching the child is more important than teaching the subject.”

We need more schools with such a skill-oriented and positive approach towards the society. It is not only empowering to see the youth working towards our betterment and empowerment, but also makes us want to do more for the society as well.

Manya Gumashta | TOC

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