Published: 18th June 2018
Villagers in Tiruchy resort to crowdsourcing for keeping government schools, Anganwadis alive
The village has about 220 children, where around 120 go to the government school and nearly 54 children go to the Anganwadi
Villagers from Saradamangalam in Tiruchy have pledged to enroll their wards only in government schools and Anganwadis. To this end, the villagers provide financial help to the local government school and Anganwadi to upgrade infrastructure and attract more children.
As many of the children of farmers in the village are aged between two and five, villagers have shouldered the responsibility of appointing two additional workers and a helper in the Anganwadi to stop parents from approaching private nursery schools in a nearby town. The villagers also pay salaries after pooling funds for the monthly payments.
With the increase in the number of teachers and facilities, including games, the Anganwadi has a total of 54 children, up from the earlier 34 students. T Pichaipillai (39), a farmer, said, “Earlier, villagers admitted their children to private schools situated miles away as the
Anganwadi was not considered up to the mark. This affected enrolments in the Anganwadi and the government school. So, we thought of floating an association to pool in money to be used as expenses for education of our children.”
He added some of his friends working in Singapore came forward with donations to the association, named Pudhiya Vidiyal Nanbargal Kuzhu. Farmers in the village make regular financial contributions. All this has helped villagers appoint additional teachers and a sanitation worker. “Our work is not just limited to the appointment of teachers, but buying toys and study materials that keep the children engaged with extracurricular activities. Education department officials did not stop us from doing this but instead, lauded our efforts and assured necessary steps would be taken to improve the facilities,” Pichaipillai said.
The Saradamangalam villagers have also helped to whitewash the premises of the middle school, situated near the Anganwadi. They have spent money on laying tiles in the restroom and erecting a stage in the centre of the ground for cultural events. Despite receiving minimal funds from the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), contributions by villagers is the prime reason for the school’s smooth running.
The village has about 220 children, where around 120 go to the government school and nearly 54 children go to the Anganwadi. The remaining students go to nearby private schools as the government school in Saradamangalam is only up to Class VIII. Villagers are working to upgrade the middle school to a high school to benefit more students.