Whenever the society and its people have lent hands in the work of government or administration, its success has been phenomenal
No matter how many schemes the government formulates, if there is no public participation in it, the prospect of its success is minimal. Whenever the society and its conscious people have lent hands in the work of government or administration, its success has been a 100 per cent. Similar signs of success are visible adjacent to Gujarat and Maharashtra – in the Union Territory of Daman. This Arabian Sea Island is like a paradise for tourists. Previously it was under the control of Portuguese. When Goa was freed from the Portuguese in 1961, Daman too became a part of India. Later in 1987, it got the status of a Union Territory. There is no own-government or legislative assembly in Daman. Administrators look after the district work. The population of Daman and Diu together is around 2.5 million of which 2 lakh alone comprise the former. The literacy rate is around 87 per cent.
In a bid to boost the literacy rate further, an initiative of Administrator Praful Patel has encouraged an industry association to openly extend its helping hand. One can say that a government plan is receiving the support of corporate companies. The impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has started to increase. The discussion between the members of the association and the administrator came to a consensus and it was decided that apart from making schools up to VIII standard operational, Anganwadi should also be made worthy enough to ensure a secure future for small children. With this, Parents will also be able to properly run their livelihood.
So far, the condition of the premises of the schools of Daman was very pitiable. The buildings were torn apart, there were no toilets, and if there were, they had no water supply. There were no proper walls and boundaries. The roofs too dripped during rain. They lacked all characteristic to be a school of any manner. Therefore the children too lost their aptitude. Parents were trying to get their children to go to private schools so that they could get good jobs by attaining the proper education. But private schools also have their own limits. There were a plethora of issues in admitting such huge number of children. On the other hand, poor and ordinary families do not much money to afford admission in such schools. Though there are trained teachers in government schools, they did not have students. The poor infrastructure hurdled the learning environment. The administration tried several times to change this situation but due to some reason or other, it was delayed. Similar was the case of Anganwadi. So a few months back when the Administrator spoke of the situation with Industry Association, CSR immediately came into play.
An extraordinary thing about Daman is that its cultural life is immersed in various colours. Together you will witness European, Indian and traditional tribal elements in it. Here you can hear English, Hindi, Konkani, Gujarati along with the Portuguese language. Due to a spur in the number of North Indian labourers, their languages too are being spoken today. The tradition and custom have a Gujarati-effect to them. The people here used to do fisheries business but now they have surrendered to the increasing industrial factories. Institutes of training for them have also been opened. This work is being done at dual-level. On one hand, Anganwadi is being given a look and feel of that a home. The Prime Minister has named them ‘Nand Ghar’, i.e., every child should be seen as Krishna and he should get a guard like Nand so that he can be properly groomed. This way working parents will be able to leave their children in these palanquin homes. All the arrangements for such children’s food etc. are being strengthened. These crib-homes or Nand Ghar are being decorated in such a way that the children feel at home. All the necessary means to keep the children occupied are being provided. These houses also function as a nursery school so that on taking admissions in schools, the children are up to the mark. These homes take care of children from the age of two to four years, implying that they get their basic education here only before going to school. According to the administrator Patel, “The Prime Minister has given it the name ‘Nand Ghar’, so our responsibility is to make it accordingly. Every parent should rest assured that their child is being given the ‘Krishna’ treatment. I discussed it with industry association and I am happy that it extended its hand owing it to its social responsibility.”
It is noteworthy that there are 36 primary schools in Daman, where teaching takes place in two shifts. Most of those pitiable schools have been modernised and the remaining are being equally equipped. Fans, electricity, lights, restrooms, cleanliness – all facilities are being arranged. These schools are now leaving behind private schools in terms of education and convenience. The attraction here has also increased. The most important thing is that until now, the children who considered themselves to be lesser than those of private schools, are now boosted with confidence. They have grown an interest into studying and learning. The participation of the industry has helped improve the conditions of those schools and their internal structures. This has emerged as a big example today. It is expected that similar initiatives will be taken up in other states too. As well as, the tendency to look up to the government for the development of any part of the country will also end. Every competent man will try to find a solution to the problem of his society.
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