The Express block at Kargil Shaheed Subedar Tara Chand Government High School at Khera village in Nalagarh subdivision of Solan district,the foundation stone for which was laid by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in April 2008,will be inaugurated on Tuesday. The block was built through contributions collected by the Indian Express Citizen Relief Fund.
The new block which comprises 14 new classrooms and a hall shall be formally inaugurated by Roshni Devi,the widow of Subedar Tara Chand who hailed from this village and had attained martyrdom during the Kargil war. The Chief Minister had agreed to participate in the function but had to back out following the announcement of poll dates by the Election Commission.
The new building will facilitate upgradation of the school to the senior secondary level with the first session for classes 11 and 12 commencing from the April 2009 session. The existing block (classes 6-10) has eight rooms and a strength of 450 students. The double-storied block constructed over 12,000 sq feet will allow an additional intake of 600 students.
The villagers had been demanding a senior secondary school for long as the nearest such school is at least 4 km away,leading to many students,particularly girls,dropping out after class 10.
The idea of this corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative took birth during the construction of the Chandigarh War Memorial,another Express citizen initiative that commemorates the sacrifices made by the Indian soldiers. Former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam had commended the Express group and appealed for similar initiatives in the field of health and education. The Indian Express had then announced that it would gather twice the amount of money collected for the War Memorial and use it as per Kalams suggestion.
The students and parents were upbeat about the inauguration of the new block. Roshni Devi,Tara Chands widow,said,After his father died,my elder son Narinder could not pursue higher studies because we didnt have sufficient means. With the construction of the new block I am confident that my younger son would be able to complete his education.
Daljeet Kaur,the officiating principal,said,This school caters to nine villages. Every year the number of enrollment goes up,so there was a shortage of rooms.