On 26th January, 2019, Katavaram Primary School in Addakal Mandal of Mahabubnagar was presented with the Swachh Bharat-Swachh Vidhyalaya Award for effective sanitation measures adopted in the school. The school’s transformation from what it was a year ago is quite remarkable.
According to Swachh Bharat master trainer, Ms. M. Danalaxmi, the school with a strength of 42 children conducted classes for grades 1-5 in two shabby rooms. To say that the school had poor infrastructure was an understatement. It lacked basic facilities such as drinking water and toilets. Without a proper compound wall, cattle would stray into it in the morning, leaving behind mess and a stench.
With a view to changing the situation, the district administration organized a meeting with the village community – parents, members of school management committee (SMC) and teachers and discussed with them at length the pathetic condition of the school. They were asked to take up the matter at the Gramajyothi Sabha.
The objective of Grama Jyothi is to improve the service delivery to the people in core sectors through the strengthening of the Gram Panchayats by bringing together the efforts of various departments working at the Gram Panchayat level which are hitherto working independent of one another. Grama Jyothi aims to synergise the developmental activities of the departments by achieving functional and financial convergence through preparation of Gram Panchayat Developmental Plans.
Others who participated in the Gramajyothi Sabha besides the regular village community were Sarpanch, Deputy Sarpanch, SMC Chairman, Addakal Mandal SI – Mr. Srinivas Goud, Village Revenue Officer, and members of the youth club. Team SBM-G apprised them about the condition of the school.
In response, the SI promised to adopt the school. On his advice, people voluntarily engaged in revamping the school and its surroundings, removing thorn bushes and rocks. Local contractors were engaged to renovate the school.
Social media was used widely to disseminate development taking place in the school. Taking note of this, NGO called Caring Hands from Hyderabad visited the school and provided assistance in renovation, gifting the school 2 computers, a projector as well as a computer instructor, in addition to school bags, sports kits, drawing materials, and a library setup.
All development work being carried out was again posted on social media that led a Belgian national to visit the school and contribute to its progress. She supported the school in setting up a solar plant which provided an energy solution.
Today, owing to the facilities in the school, the local community prefers to send their children to this government school rather than a private school. This has increased the strength of the school from 42 to 108. Regular meetings are held to discuss further development of the school.
Under the programme, Intiki Vanda Badiki Chanda, toilets, drinking water, hand wash liquid and other cleaning materials have been provided to the school. Awareness on hand washing before food and after using the toilet is a regular feature as also child cabinets.