[In the pic: (L) Romola speaking at an SMC meeting; (R) Children happy with the new water-tank in school]
Romola, a mother of two, living in a village in Anand district (Gujarat) knew why her kids didn’t like going to school. “The school wasn’t clean. it was either left dirty or children had to do the cleaning work. Besides, there was no separate toilet for girls, resulting in them having to rush to the nearby houses of their friends to use toilet. This not just interrupted their classroom lessons but also got their parents worried about their safety. In addition, there was a shortage of classrooms in the school. While students of Class I and II shared one room, the students of Class V sat in the Computer Lab,” said Romola.
The outcome of the trainings organized by Initiative for Social Justice and Humanity (ISJH) and our Gujarat & Rajasthan Regional Office on Right to Education and the role of School Management Committees (SMCs) saw an empowered Romola, an SMC member herself, along with other members of the committee, advocating for making the school a better place for children. And their efforts met with success! The school now has a person specifically appointed to clean the school; there’s a separate toilet for girls; and two new classrooms have been built in the school, in addition to a boundary wall around the building to ensure the safety of children. Besides, the school is now providing nutritious meals to all students. Well, that’s not all! A water-tank has also been installed, thereby ensuring safe drinking water supply in the school.
“I am very happy and proud to see these changes in the school. All children now like going to school. I thank ActionAid India for its support and for helping me understand the importance of being an SMC member,” shares Romola joyfully.