Days after a Class 3 student urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video message to ensure basic facilities at her school in Kathua district, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has started work to give it a facelift.
Seerat Naaz's video appeal to the prime minister last week, which was shared widely on social media, prompted Director of School Education, Jammu, Ravi Shankar Sharma to visit the government school located in the remote Lohai-Malhar block.
"Assalamu Alaikum Modiji. Kaise ho aap…aap sab ki baat suntey ho, meri bhi baat suno (Hello, Modiji. How are you? You listen to everyone, please listen to me also)," Naaz said in the beginning of her over four-minute video.
Speaking about the dilapidated condition of the school, Naaz said students are forced to sit on the dirty floors, which often stain their uniforms. She also highlighted the bad condition of the toilets, problems of open defecation and the unfinished construction work of the building.
"You listen to the entire nation, please listen to me as well and build a nice school for us so that we can continue our education and not get scolded by our mothers for getting our uniforms dirty," the girl said in her passionate appeal to the prime minister.
Taking note of the video clip, the Jammu and Kashmir administration immediately swung into action to give the school a facelift.
"A project worth Rs 91 lakh was sanctioned to upgrade the school on modern lines but the work was stalled due to some issue related to administrative approval. It has now been sorted out and the work is underway," Sharma said after visiting the school.
The official said hundreds of schools are running in the remotest parts of the Union territory and the government has already chalked out a detailed project to ensure proper and modern facilities at all of these schools.
"We have also started constructing 1,000 new kindergartens in all districts of Jammu province, and in the next three to four years, we will be able to ensure construction of 250 kindergartens in each of the 10 districts (in Jammu province)," he said.
Sharma said there are three types of funding available for improving school infrastructure under UT CAPEX, district CAPEX and Samagra. Over 2,500 projects have been completed under Samagra since 2018, while 6,000 more are in progress.
He said the department is also utilising the UT capex and district capex to ensure best facilities to the students.
Naaz, who aspires to be an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, said she had made a video and she is happy that her message has received a positive response.
"I made the video myself to share my thoughts with our prime minister. I am glad that action was taken and our school is getting a facelift," she said.
Villagers are also cheerful about the renovation of the school and expressed hopes that it will be developed on modern lines like schools in urban areas.
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