Published: 20th August 2020
This Government School employee in rural Karnataka spent his life's savings to paint the entire school - as a birthday gift to his son
There are over 200 children studying in this Government High School in Hireshivanagutti taluk and it caters to students from class 8 to 10
How many of us even think of renovating government schools in our locality so that children can study in a better environment? Mehboob Agra, a Group D employee who is mostly involved in cleaning and maintenance of a Government High School located in Hireshivanagutti village, Ilkal Taluk of Bagalkot District, certainly did. He has had the walls of the school painted so that the school looks brand new. But do you know the reason behind this? Mehboob says, "I got the walls painted as a gift for my son on his birthday. It is a small act of kindness from my side and I don't like to get publicity for this."
Mehboob has been working in this school for more than 18 years now and he has a seven-year-old son called Mohammed Mustafa. He is studying in class 7 and is an only child. "My son was nine months old when he underwent open-heart surgery in Bengaluru. It was a critical time for me and my wife. Though the operation was successful, he would fall ill every now and then. From that point in time, I started giving food and clothes to poor people so that their prayers can safeguard my son's life. Every year, on the occasion of his birthday, I would cook food and serve it to all 200 children in this school. But this time due to the COVID pandemic, the situation has changed. Schools have been closed for a long time now. That's why I wanted to get this school painted."
You will be surprised to know that Mehboob's son Mustafa's birthday was in December and this is his 'previous birthday' gift. "I thought of getting the school walls painted in the month of January but the school closed sooner than I thought it would. However, a few days ago, when I was sitting idle on the premises, I thought that I must get it painted. Therefore, I called up the painter immediately and asked him the cost of painting. He said that it will take at least Rs 10,000 to paint the outer walls of the school. I agreed to it and started painting. However, we were not able to complete one side of the wall also with that small amount. Therefore, I spent all the money that I saved and it came up to Rs 35,000 to paint all the outer walls and pillars of the school," explains Mehboob.
Beyond his son and wife, Mehboob's act of generosity has pleasantly surprised the headmaster and teachers of this school. He was also congratulated personally by Suresh Kumar S, Primary and Secondary Education Minister of Karnataka along with other officials from the department.