“I went to inspect a government school, and the temperature was around five to six degrees and the students were shivering due to the cold climate. One of the children, resembling my son, folded his legs and hands to make himself comfortable. The next moment, I decided to renovate the school with no delay,” told Geetika Joshi, Deputy Education Officer, Almora to The Logical Indian.
She is now aiming to renovate 100 more schools by the end of the academic year 2018. Geetika Joshi and IAS Himanshu Khurana shared with The Logical Indian, about how this initiative unfolded in Almora district, Uttarakhand. “I was the education officer of the particular area and I thought that I should do something for the children so that they are comfortable enough to study in school,” Geethika said.
She spent money from her own pockets and renovated a few of the classrooms, got new desks and chairs and even bought a smart TV. “After all these changes, I could notice that there is a remarkable growth in the performance of the school,” she says delightedly. That is when she realised that when the students are studying in a comfortable environment, their learning abilities are better.
What is Roopantaran?
It was started in 2017 and inaugurated on April 4 by Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat. ‘Roopantaran’ means transformation or makeover. This name was chosen to imply how government schools can be changed with proper infrastructure facilities. The protagonists behind Roopantaran are Geetika Joshi, Himanshu Khurana (IAS, Almora district), MLA Karan Singh, District Magistrate (DM) Eva Ashish Srivastav, and DM Nitin Singh Bhadauria.
After Geetika’s efforts, Karan Singh joined and sanctioned Rs 23 lakhs for renovating 43 schools. Himanshu Khurana, who was inspired by the work, laid a platform along with Geetika, and named it Roopantaran and gave the idea a large-scale makeover. The scheme’s target is to refurbish a maximum number of schools using the funds collected.
Roopantaran gains pace
So far, 58 schools have benefitted because of Roopantaran. Apart from renovation, they are also providing nutritious food to children in midday meals. Teachers decorated classrooms with the beautiful painting on walls and benches to make learning more effective.
Eva Ashish Shrivatsav who was surprised that an initiative like this was taken up, decided to do it on a large scale. Geetika said “Ma’am (Eva Ashish Shrivatsav) was so much interested in the program. She enhanced crowdfunding by appealing to the government officers to contribute. Initially, she donated Rs 20,000 from her account.”
Contributions to Roopantaran
Government officials and shopkeepers of Ranikhet have contributed Rs 5 lakhs, and primary school teachers of the block have contributed Rs 3 lakhs.
Geetika said, “The now DM Nitin Bhadoriya has told that he will help in renovating 100 schools by the end of the academic year 2018-19.”
“This will be done by using the convergence of various government funds such as Nagar Palike fund, Swacchh Bharat Kosh, Swajal Pariyojana, Swachh Bharat Shauchalaya Scheme and others she added.
Geetika expressed that, to make India shine, we need to focus on the government schools as the students studying there are from the most deprived sections of the society. She added “if we do something good when these kids are still in school, we can shape a better future for so many lives.”
The Logical Indian applauds Roopantaran. We hope that this initiative succeeds. Government Schools are really in a terrible condition; such initiatives will increase the standard of government schools. The quality of education in the country will improve. According to a UN survey, India’s gross enrollment in higher education is only 24%. This means students drop out in schools as schools lack facilities. To change the scenario, we need to have a better education system and better schools.