A Software Engineer Turned Farmer & Social Worker's Struggle To Protect A School In His Village
A year ago, on January 18th, 2017 The Logical Indian had published an article about Mr Lakshmi Narasimha Ikkurthi and why he left his job to develop his village. From cleanliness drives in the village to government school modernisation to imparting technology into agriculture, he and his group worked tirelessly for the village.
Yazali High School was established in the year 1961 and moved to the present campus in 1964. During the initial years, the school had a huge catchment area of twenty villages. Over the years, it had lost its importance. There were times when the school had hardly twelve students appearing for tenth class public examination and many parents were not willing to admit their children to the school. There were batches during the 1970s and 1980s when all the students who appeared for tenth class public examination had failed, throwing the image of the school into deplorable levels.
From there, a group of highly concerned old students had decided to come together and transform the school. This resulted in huge changes. Now,
- ZPHS Yazali, Guntur is one school where students are achieving 100% pass percentage.
- School got selected for Space training to students by Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sri Harikota.
- 10 Students from this school got placed in IIITs where world-class engineering education is provided for free. Every year there is at least one student from here.
- Students have gone through National Means-Cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme(NMMSS).
- The school is also conducting Personality development sessions with leading psychologists and educationalists.
Read more about the school here In This Village, Parents Are Admitting Their Children In This Govt School Instead Of Corporate Schools
It was an achievement for the government school in Yazali to receive appreciation letter from the Minister for Human Resources Development of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Ganta Srinivasa Rao, byt the happiness did not last for long time. A liquor shop that was closed 2 years back was reopened near the school.
In 2016, a student of 8th standard vomited in the school after consuming alcohol. When checked, three more students were found drunk on the same day. Following this incident, Lakshmi Narasimha with this team began protesting and they were able to close the liquor shop.
In 2018, a day after the school received appreciation from the Minister, liquor shop was set to reopen again. This time, minimal efforts were not enough to close the liquor shop.
The Andhra Pradesh Excise (Grant of licence of selling by shop and conditions of licence) Rules, 2012 says, “(1) Subject to the approval of the Prohibition & Excise Superintendent the selected applicant shall select suitable premises for sale of IMFL and FL within the Municipal Corporation, Municipality, village/town/city or area/ locality as the case may be as notified in the District Gazette. It shall be at least 100 meters away from the places of Public worship, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and 50 Meters away from Highways.”
However, 50 meters from highway underwent a change after the order form Supreme Court. This school was 300 meters away from the liquor shop but the only way to school is to cross this liquor shop. It showed adverse effects in the past and the present situation is not an exception.
Lakshmi Narasimha was helpless with the situation as liquor shop was under prescribed limits. But one had to cross the liquor shop to reach the school and it was the only way to reach the school. There are a number of occasions where students were found attending the class after consuming alcohol.
After reaching multiple sources to stop setting up liquor shop near the school, #SaveTheSchool campaign was started on social media along with some social groups like YBI(Youth for Better India) to make government and people know about the situation in Yazali. The government acted unheard, and did not even ask the school administration for the clarification of the situation.
A group of people who had same dreams like Lakshmi joined hands with him to make students to receive quality, education. If shutting down the liquor shop was comprised for the sake of revenue for the state, around 400 students/human capital could have got affected.
– Written by Amruth Chinthala