Students of JH Tarapore School clean Tatanagar station premises during the drive in Jamshedpur on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, June 28: Brooms replaced pens and buckets took the place of books as 130 school students turned cleaners for the day at Tatanagar station.
Dhatkidih-based JH Tarapore School sent the Class XI students to tidy up the station — the only A-category junction under Chakradharpur railway division — as a part of its “Jamshedpur I Care” project that teaches the young learners to be better human beings through shramdaan. The aim behind today’s drive was to set an example and show the citizens that cleanliness of public places could be easily ensured if they developed a sense of attachment for their city.
Divided into groups — each comprising 22 students and having one teacher coordinator — the civic volunteers, armed with brooms, buckets and plastic ladles, reached the station around 8.30am. For the next three hours, they cleaned the areas near the computerised reservation centre, ticket and enquiry counters, platforms and the approach road. The job was not easy considering that the station witnesses a daily footfall of over 60,000 people and passage of 86 trains.
“Under the Jamshedpur I Care project, all students of the school are involved in some activities that help instil civic and humanitarian values without getting preachy. The students right from Kindergarten to Class XII are given different topics to work on. While till Class X, the civic activities are undertaken on the school premises, seniors of Classes XI and XII are encouraged to go out and lend a helping hand to clean the city,” said the school’s project counsellor Madhuchhanda Chakraborty.
According to Chakraborty, they chose to spruce up Tatanagar station to shame railway passengers
“Passengers litter the station even though there are enough number of dustbins and vats. The same people will then blame the authorities for failing to keep the station clean. Through our activities today, we tried to pass on the message that we should become a little more responsible while disposing waste and also lead by example” she pointed out.
Anisha Olive Topno, a student who aspires to become a fashion designer, said she would like to be a part of such activities even after passing out from school.
“The values inculcated through these exercises will remain with me forever. Instead of waiting for the authorities to clean public places, I think I should do it myself. Perhaps, other people will get inspired after seeing me. I would be happy if I am able to change the mindset of even one person,” Anisha added.
Tatanagar manager Awtar Singh lauded the young volunteers. “We have provision for fines up to Rs 500 to deter people from throwing litter and urinating in public. But the penalty is not having the desired effect,” he said.
The school plans to conduct more shramdaan activities at other public places like Bistupur GPO, Subernarekha Ghat and picnic spots (Dimna and Jubilee Park).