General manager of Tata Steel Jharia division Sanjay Singh unveils a plaque in Dhanbad on Wednesday. (Gautam Dey)
The 200-odd students of a private school located in a remote Dhanbad village will get more space to study.
Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS) has gifted Baba Ramdas Shishu Vidya Mandir at Laghla Jharna village near Amlabad, about 30km from the district headquarters, a single-storey school building with two rooms and a verandah as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.
The building, which has been constructed at a cost of Rs 3.75 lakh on a 770sqft plot on the existing school premises, was inaugurated by general manager of Tata Steel’s Jharia division Sanjay Singh on Wednesday.
Also present were a host of officials of Tata Steel’s Jharia division, including unit head of TSRDS Keshav Ranjan, principal of the school Biman Banerjee, headman of Laghla Jharna Rameshwar Tudu and around 100 students and teachers.
Baba Ramdas Shishu Vidya Mandir, established by local villagers under the leadership of social worker Baba Ramdas about a decade ago, imparts education to 227 students from nursery to Class X. At present, it has four rooms, one with a leaking roof.
The addition of two more rooms of 270sqft each will take the total number to six, thus providing enough seating space for the students and also those who will take admission in the upcoming session in March 2013.
“The new rooms were constructed in keeping with the demand of local residents. But this is just the beginning. Tata Steel will construct at least four toilets in the school, which, at present, does not have any. We will also install a hand pump with filtration facility as the existing one spouts muddy water,” said Singh.
Ranjan elaborated that during a public hearing in 2011, residents had requested Tata Steel, which carries sand from the village to its colliery at Jamadoba, to build more rooms for the school.
“We helped out even though Laghla Jharna falls beyond our leasehold area of 33 villages,” said Ranjan.
Village headman Tudu, while thanking Tata Steel, said: “The school teaches students of around 22 surrounding villages and extra classrooms were badly needed because of lack of space. We will also request Tata Steel to construct the toilets at the earliest as the girls have to face a lot of difficulty.”
Ranjan said the Jharia division of Tata Steel had initiated a series of educational programmes for benefit of leasehold villages — pre-matric coaching for 1,096 students of classes VIII, IX and X, spoken English course for 150 village students, adult literacy classes for 738 women members of various self-help groups promoted by TSRDS besides awarding Jyoti Fellowship to more than 300 SC and ST students every year.