A musical affair
At 9 a.m. every day, light music played on a loud speaker attracts children to a small two-storied structure. Twenty minutes later, when most of the children have arrived, a soothing echo of prayer followed by the national anthem signals the start of school for the day. The teachers say, "The music draws the children to school. Even if they are engrossed in household work or playing, they are reminded to come to school."
Far from the city, a network of kaccha roads will lead you to a small school, Government Lower Primary School, Thirumenahalli. The Head Master, Rajagopal L, beaming with pride says, "Timeless ardent efforts and community participation by the teachers have brought the much needed development in this school. The school has separate toilets for boys and girls, neat classrooms, water purifiers."
Rajagopal, and the teachers echo, "The inauguration of the new school building was one of our happiest days. It reinstates the power of conviction and effort." Explaining further, they say, "While some have donated the construction materials, some others have contributed in the form of labour, and supervision."
The dedication of the school teachers goes beyond building better school infrastructure. The school strength which stands at 70 students consists of children from migrating families. Sometimes during a festival or when there is a family emergency in the village, they don't come to school for almost a fortnight and in some cases, almost a month. When they do come back, they need to catch up with all that they have missed in school.
The students are also very keen on attending school. Muskan is a Standard II student in this school. Her parents moved base to a new locality about a year ago. She had to be enrolled in a school closer to her new house. But Muskan insisted that she wanted to continue to study in the same school in Thirumenahalli. Every day Muskan has walks for two kilometers to reach school. The twinkled-eyed Muskan says, "I like this school. They teach us well."
Students like Muskan are testimony to the dedication of Rajagopal and the school's two teachers, C. Mahadeva and M.H. Nagaraj. "It has always been a teamwork," smiles the Head Master.