On Republic Day this year, two city-based friends Priya Sampat and Sangeeta Saxena had gone to distribute stationary at Vikas Prathmik Vidyalaya, a Marathi-medium school for the underprivileged in Kharadi.
Shocked to see the poor condition of the school, with no furniture, poor lighting, no fans, walls with chipped paint, library being used as a store room, etc. the duo decided to do help the institute.
“While the initial plan was to provide furniture but, gradually, one thing led to another and we ended up renovating the entire school,” said Sampat. Now, the school boasts of new desks and benches, newly-painted walls, false ceiling, fans, new lightings and a well-equipped library, among other facilities.
“Even the courtyard area was in a bad shape. We have taken care of the tiling work too,” added Sampat. The renovation work began in April and got completed this month.
While a part of the amount required for the renovation was donated by Sanghvi Movers, as part of their corporate social responsibility, many friends and family members of Sampat and Saxena also funded the initiative, carried out under their recently-launched organisation Deeds For Needs.
The school is being run by 78-year-old Indira Devidas Bangade from the last 25 years, without any financial support from anyone. Bangade said it was her husband’s wish to spread education among those with little means. He had built the school in 1995. However, a year later, he passed away and Indira took over.
Since then, she has been carefully running the institution through lean times, with donations and her meagre savings and staff support. Currently, 250 children study at the school. While the students of primary classes don’t have to pay fees, those studying in classes 5th to 7th pay Rs 50 per month.
Till January this year (above), the school had no furniture or fans, wall paint was chipped and the library was being used as a store room. Express