People of Fatehpur Awana village, about 10 km from Ludhiana, are paying rent for the Government Primary School
as they can’t imagine 140 children not attending the school. The school’s original building had been declared unsafe and was demolished in September. As a result, the school now operates from a rented room. For the past two months the villagers are paying the rent. The government, however, is yet to release funds for the reconstruction
of the building.
Looking for an alternative place to run classes, the teachers had approached a local gurdwara but their request was turned down.
Since the classes could not stop running, some villagers suggested to the school management that they should rent a house. The villagers insisted that prominent people from among them would take turns to pay it. The teachers were also willing to contribute towards the rent but the villagers said they will contribute themselves. A three-room building close to the school was taken on a monthly rent of Rs 5,000.
Soon, classes II, IV and V started running in the new building. Students of Class I were, however, made to sit in the only room of the old school building that was declared safe. The rented building has space to accommodate only half of the 50 students of Class III. So, the rest are made to sit in the corridor of the old school.
School teachers said the school did not have desks and they borrowed 20 from a nearby small private school, which was shut down last month. The other students have to sit on mats. Balwinder Singh, a resident who volunteered to pay the rent twice, said villagers will keep paying to ensure the education of children is not affected.