The new building of Porabazar Ram Dulali Mukherjee Uchha Vidyalaya that was inaugurated on Sunday. (Arnab Mondal)
A Higher Secondary school near the city where about 100 students now pack into each classroom got 12 additional classrooms on Sunday.
The extra classrooms at Porabazar Ram Dulali Mukherjee Uchha Vidyalaya, in Hooghly district, about 53km from the city, are housed in a building set up with funds from Round Table India.
The three-storeyed structure, set up at a cost of Rs 80 lakh, also boasts a computer room, a physics laboratory and indoor toilets for boys and girls, which the students did not have earlier.
“The students could not sit properly, let alone study. After we got this 17-cottah plot opposite the old building, we had to look for financial help as the school had only Rs 10 lakh. With Round Table India offering to fund 50 per cent of the cost, we approached the Steel Authority of India, which gave us Rs 8.5 lakh. We also received help from Coal India and local Trinamul Congress MP Ratna De Nag,” school secretary Santo Ghosh said after the building was inaugurated on Sunday.
“Classes will be held in the new building from next week. While 100 students used to sit in each classroom earlier, it will be just 40 a room in the new building.”
Harish Shenoy, the national president of Round Table India, and Manpreet Raja and Rashmi Rungta, the area chairman and area chairperson of the organisation, were present on the occasion.
Calcutta Metropolitan Round Table 41 has funded the project along with Calcutta Victorian Round Table 227 and Calcutta Metropolitan Ladies Circle 65, with funds raised through various charity shows.
There are plans to install an audio-visual system at the school.
“When a teacher teaches a chapter on the solar system, he/she draws circles on the blackboard to explain the shapes and positions of the planets. With the introduction of the audio-visual system, the students will see videos on the subject and gain a better understanding of it,” said Shenoy.
Over the past three years, Round Table India has been aiming to provide a holistic educational environment to the underprivileged.
Saheli Ghosh, a Class XI student at the Hooghly school, was excited: “I have been studying in that old building all these years. My two elder sisters, too, studied there. This new building is dream come true. It makes me feel like I’m in college. The girls’ toilet is a boon for us.”