Chhoto Dindargheri, a small village in the Basanti block of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal, lacked a study centre for children. The children didn't have access to a physical space where they could learn together in a classroom environment. The reason behind it was that the schools got closed due to Covid.
While implementing our 'Dignity for Work' (DFW) initiative, Team Goonj visited the village and, upon discussion with the locals, mobilized the community to build a study centre for children. All schools were closed, and children were not able to attain classes.
"We have decided to join hands and contribute ₹ 250 each to buy raw materials like tin, nails and bamboo to build the shade and for colours for interior and outside designs," said one of the eager contributors, Montu Saha.
Twenty-two villagers came forward to build an 18 feet/12 feet mud-and-bamboo structure for the village study centre.
The whole process took almost a month, but now classes have started with four locals working as teachers on a regular basis. At the centre, a total of 24 children study on alternative days to maintain physical distancing.
"We are very happy now. We have a place to learn together in these difficult circumstances," Puja Mondal, one of the children, told Team Goonj.
The initiative has not only impacted the lives of the children of a far-flung village located in a cyclone-prone area of the Sunderbans. It is also an example of how a participatory approach can be used to build assets for the future of a community.