By Nidhi Mittal (LMB, Faridabad)
There are 444 million children in India under the age of 18 years. This constitutes 37% of the total population in the country (Census 2011). 1 in 4 children of school-going age is out of school in our country – 99 million children in total have dropped out of school (Census 2011).
A vast majority of India’s children hail from underprivileged backgrounds, to become the most disenfranchised victims of poverty. Impoverished children are raised in an environment in which education is not a priority.
The quality of education that the children receive is also poor, which prevents them from the serious pursuit of education. Educating these children in a manner that helps them break the cycle of poverty presents tricky challenges. The arduous process starts with providing basic infrastructure to schools, aiding enrollment, preventing drop outs, and ensuring that they gain from the experience.
L&T provides critical infrastructure in schools such as furniture, sets up laboratories and libraries and equips them, refurbishes classrooms and playgrounds, and builds toilet blocks in rural schools.
Moving ahead on the same lines, and taking a suo-moto cognizance of the news item published in the reputed daily newspaper (clipping below), L&T MHPS Boilers Pvt. Ltd. (LMB) had taken up a CSR initiative to develop & improvise the infrastructure for a Government Primary school at Dhruv Dera, about 1.5 km from the LMB Head Office, Faridabad.
The scope of the work included building the two storey (5 rooms) infrastructure from ground zero, developing washrooms, drinking water facility, play area, common room & staff room. The class rooms were designed with themes based on their curriculum & artistic effects were also provided with inputs from the school.
The entire project, from concept to handing over was well completed within the academic year of 2017-18. The handing over of the school building to the school authorities was done by Mr. A. S. Lamba, Group Chief Executive & Whole Time Director, LMB in presence of Mr. Y. Shimogori (COO), Mr. D. K. Chaudhuri (CE – EPC), Mr. K. C. Rao (Head Engineering), Mr. Prem Akhauri (Head HR) and other senior dignitaries of LMB & school authorities on 14th Mar, 2018 in a small function organised at school premises. The children also presented a beautiful & colourful cultural show bringing forth the immense talent lying suppressed due to lack of proper facilities. The students with academic excellence were also awarded with meritorious prizes.
The school principal assured us that with the infrastructure in place & renewed enthusiasm, they would promote their students to shine & achieve success at different & higher echelons.
The happiness of students was evident & their faces beamed with enticing joy & fun. Their eyes reflected a cheer towards the organisation for proving them with a state of art infrastructure, at par with any other esteemed school in the town, & infusing an enhanced motivation & vigour to study, perform better & create a future for themselves.
As an organisation & all the volunteers involved, it was a moment when the heart gets filled with great pride along with humility to have been able to extend our small helping hand towards betterment of the children, the future of our society & nation. A small thank you note from the students added the apt feather in our cap & made us more determined to continue our association with the school & keep walking the tiny steps for the society.