|The report published in The Telegraph on December 4
A residential school for Vardhan Gudia so that he doesn’t have to spend his paltry government scholarship on renting a hut. A teacher’s job for Gulshan Lohar so that he can cushion his family’s financial crisis. The Saranda Action Plan is heralding a new dawn for two orthopaedically challenged youths of West Singhbhum.
Taking cognisance of a report published in The Telegraph on December 4, state disability commissioner Satish Chandra on Wednesday wrote a letter to the HRD department, seeking succour for the two. Chandra has urged the state government to admit 17-year-old Vardhan to a Chaibasa cradle with free accommodation, while a para-teacher’s job in a primary or middle school with a pay of Rs 3,000 per month has been recommended for Gulshan (25).
“They both have made great effort to pursue academics. I have asked the HRD department to admit the boy (Vardhan) in either a regular residential school or one for the disabled (run by the state welfare department). I have also sought a school job in Manoharpur for the youth (Gulshan) who holds a BEd degree and is pursuing an MA,” Chandra said.
Vardhan currently studies in Class VII of Charwaha Vidyalaya in Manoharpur block of the district. The school is 25km from his once rebel-dominated village of Bitkilsoy and the boy is forced to rent a hut in Manoharpur for Rs 200, the amount he receives as scholarship from the government.
With his farmer father’s meagre earning of Rs 1,500 not enough for a family of nine, the teenager had been contemplating discontinuing his studies when the action plan happened. His school in Chaibasa, the headquarters of West Singhbhum, may be 120km away but will provide free stay and a better future.
Baranga village resident Gulshan has found two mentors — one in Chandra and the other in district superintendent of education Poonam Singh. Singh said till the youth received the job of a para-teacher, he would join as a voluntary teacher for the same salary promised (Rs 3,000) in any school of Manoharpur block.
“We have asked the block education officer of Manoharpur to get in touch with Gulshan Lohar and ask him to join as voluntary teacher in any school of the block. We cannot directly appoint him as a para-teacher in a high school though he is qualified for the post because it requires sanction from department officials,” she added.
Gulshan, who was desperate for a job so that he could take care of his mother and five siblings and also clear the debts incurred to treat his ailing father before he died, will teach dropouts after normal school hours in an initiative under the right to education act.