Jun 18, 2015

One Brick At A Time - Infrastructure Development

For the months April-June 2015, Ashwini Charitable Trust (ACT) has taken up construction of a unit comprising of a Kitchen & Store room cum a Watchman’s room at the Government Tamil Higher and Primary School, Murphy Town, which we have adopted. Our aim in constructing this unit is to clear up classrooms, which are currently being used as kitchen and storage spaces for old furniture. Once these rooms are clear, we want to use them as a science lab and school library.  

ACT ACTIVITIES:

  • The large grounds all around the school have been cleaned and the mud and rubble that were cleared have been used on one side of the ground as an embankment where we plan to plant some flowering plants adjacent to the ancient rain tree. The ground which was flattened using a JCB and a Road roller is being used by ACT collaborators ‘Ultimate Frisbee’, an NGO, which coaches the school and ACT children the game of Ultimate Frisbee, a team game which promotes confidence, camaraderie and team spirit in the children.
  • The new unit which ACT is getting built will serve multiple purposes. While it will be used as a kitchen for heating milk and making porridge from the healthy protein-jaggery mix provided by ACT for the school children every day when they come to school every morning. In the afternoons, the government provided mid-day meals will be kept in the new clean kitchen and served to the children.
  •   The bricks used to build the new unit have all been manufactured on site from eco-friendly materials and are much cheaper than the bricks available in the market.
  • Apart from sprucing up the school grounds, ACT has planted saplings of fruit and flowering trees throughout the year. A hibiscus hedged garden is also being maintained by us, with a few papaya and neem trees in the middle, with the help of a gardener.
  • In the beginning of April, ACT distributed floaters/sandals to all the children of the school.
  • April and May are months when the school is closed for summer vacations, hence there was no volunteering activity during these months.
  • The school reopened on 1st June, and ACT volunteers are back to assist the teachers and students with their academic work, especially in English.
  • ACT is happy to report that the school strength has increased by about 25%, and our aim is to make the school infrastructure so good that more and more children from the surrounding slums come to school.
Mar 19, 2015

Making a difference at the Government school

Volunteering activities
Volunteering activities

One main focus for Ashwini Charitable Trust (ACT) in the 2014 calendar year was to ensure all-round improvement of the Government Tamil Higher and Primary School, Murphy Town, which we have adopted. We are focusing on infrastructure works like the Repair and Maintenance work and Volunteering activities.

Infrastructure

  • ACT has repaired the girls’ and boys’ toilets and has also arranged for a person to clean the toilets twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It is so necessary for girls that they have access to clean bathrooms.
  • The drinking water facility put up by ACT has an Aquaguard, thus ensuring that the students get pure drinking water. We can ensure that the children are free from water bourne diseases.
  • The water storage sump in the school had collapsed and the same has been repaired by ACT and hence there are two storage sumps now. Thus, there is continuous water supply to all the toilets and wash basins.
  • The large grounds all around the school was totally unused because of overgrowth and was full of garbage .We have cleaned the grounds and flattened it using a JCB and a Road roller and made it ready for sports activity.We will now make use of it to provide cricket, football, basketball coaching for the children of the school.
  • Another classroom in the Annexe building was repaired. The walls were repaired and painted, and the floors which were pitted were covered with linoleum.   Now we can use this room for a nursery section.
  • The garden is maintained by a gardener employed by the Trust. It was cleaned ,stone benches and walls were painted. The fence was redone and bricks were arranged around the plants and saplings.

Volunteering activities

 To enhance the quality of education, we have organized volunteering activities on all the days that the school is open. Everyday ACT volunteers teach the students of all classes basic English and Math skills. We are especially working with the children of all classes.Volunteers also teach computers to the teachers and children.

ACT facilitates the CSR activities of companies in the school. As a part of this initiative, employees of 4 companies have volunteered in the school in the past few months.

ACT has interfaced with these companies on behalf of the school and organized the following activities:

  • Putting tarpaulin on the school roof so that it does not leak during the monsoons.
  • Painting the walls, doors, windows and pillars of the school to give them a bright and fresh look.
  • De-weeding the garden and cutting the over-grown grass.
  • Planting saplings of evergreen trees in the school campus.
  • Planting saplings of flowering plants in the garden area.
  • Teaching the school teachers and children of classes 5, 6 and 7 how to handle computers.
  • Conducting quizzes for the children on various topics, including History, Geography and General Knowledge.
  • Blankets , Sweaters and Shoes were distributed to keep the children warm in the winter season.

 

ACT ensures that at least one of the Trust members is present when the CSR activities are taking place, so that the events go off smoothly.

Volunteering activity
Volunteering activity
Dec 29, 2014

Save a School with Ashwini Charitable Trust

When Ashwini Charitable Trust (ACT) adopted the Government Tamil Primary School in Murphy Town, Bangalore, the twin mandates we assigned to ourselves were very clear - i.) To improve the basic language and math skills of the children studying in the school and, ii.) To repair and rebuild the infrastructure of the school so that the 80+ children studying there are in a safe, secure, clean and attractive environment. 

On our very first visit to the school, we fell in love with the ancient colonial era school building and its annexe, and the vast green ground stretching behind it. But a closer look revealed the reality behind the facade. The thick walls of the building were hollowed out by termites, the roof leaked during the rains, the children's toilets were crumbling and choked with refuse, one syntex tank serviced the whole school for both drinking and washing up purposes and the green cover on the ground was actually overgrown weeds and brambles.

Even as we were taking stock of the broken furniture, walls and windows, ACT volunteers were on the job from day one, teaching those children who are weak in studies and were lagging behind others in class, basic reading, writing and comprehension skills. ACT has bought a whole series of graded books, which would take these children through the process of gradually acquiring language skills.

Repair work of the building started with the walls being treated for termite infestation and then filled with concrete before being painted a cheerful yellow colour. One room was transformed into a computer room, with two computer terminals and another into a library. ACT had organised for volunteers from companies like Cisco, Synopsis, Thomson Reuters and Citrix to interact with the school children and teachers as part of their companys' CSR initiative. Cisco volunteers even taught the school teachers, including the Head Mistress, basic computer skills, and 101 volunteers from Synopsis deweeded the garden and painted the classroom walls, doors and windows.

Once the summer vacation started, ACT got the childrens' toilets totally redone with continuous water supply and also organised a lady to clean both the girls' and the boys' toilets twice a day during school days. An aquaguard water filter has been fitted in the drinking water area so that the children get clean poatble water to drink. The washing up area has also been redone with a long, cement wash basin and an outlet for used water.

Tarpaulin sheets have been spread on the roof to take care of the leaks, and the classroom windows have been repaired with all the grills redone in order to ensure safety for the children. ACT has also got more than 50 saplings in the school premises.

Now when we visit the school, we are greeted by flowering plants and smiling faces.

But, this is just the beginning - a lot more needs to be done.         

 

  

 
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