It feels like a fairy tale set in the mountains but gone wrong horribly. Girls, from ages five to seventeen, who walked among the hills to their school in the alluring morning sun, were forced to leave their place of education. The Government Girls Senior Secondary School, beside ChaCha Museum, Ambedkar Circle, Mt. Abu, was chiefly shut down because nobody with any firm resolution, let alone the government, came forward to refurbish the almost one hundred year old building which is now falling apart. On a visit, what seen was broken windows, chafed roofs and computer labs turned into both classrooms and storerooms. Facing the immediate lack of proper classrooms and fearing for their irresolute safety the school with its Principal and staff of fifteen turned for help but was not provided any suitable solution. These girls now, four hundred of them, instead of going to school in the morning- when their minds are open and fresh for learning- have to wait till afternoon whilst they form a queue and walk the roads to the boys’ school. Their lessons are imparted to them after the boys are done with their studies. At the age when they are only supposed to learn and grow, these girls face the daunting task of even finding a proper bathroom in a place that was not even meant for them.
Questions arise in our minds, who should they turn to now? Is the administration approachable enough? Are the parents bothered to the point of taking action? It is unthinkable for some of these parents, who belong mostly to the economically and socially backward classes, to even acknowledge that something like the displacement of a whole school is a matter of major concern. This might just be one of the reasons why in spite of CBEO (Block Education Officer) visits once a month and the (District Institute of Education and Training) DIET’s involvement, it has been two years and still there are no efforts towards improvement.
The students stay in school till half-past six in the evenings now; a child’s day that should be divided between school and play is gone in late school hours and worry. The librarian now works as a clerk; the computer lab misses a technician. The playground is unfit to play in; the toilets have no running water. The building lacks proper ventilation, the roofs imminently leak in the rainy seasons and the list goes on. This displacement leaves no scope for physical education for the students. The (Global Hospital Research Center) GHRC has recognized the difficulty and trauma that a student mentally faces and has been a voluntary counselor on board.
We see children going to school every day, we see them learning happily and often take this for granted. Schools provide a nurturing atmosphere that encourages dreaming. The dreamers form action and community benefits. These girls of our nation lack that healthy environment, and face hardships on a daily basis and the school which is a place for children to be young and free, actually gives them displeasure as the current desperate situation hints at an unpromising future. We must realize how grave the situation is for them, and have gratitude for our lives. But can we only hope for these conditions to improve for the students of Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Mt. Abu, or can we help? Let us ask ourselves, what can we do? Let us do something, together. Feedback, comments and any other help in the form of even ideas is welcome.