The excitement was well-pronounced on the faces of the Karapakkam Panchayat Union Primary School kids as they jumped on the new swing sets and slide installed in their school playground. Not one teacher rebuked these enthralled kids even as four boys descended on a single swing, tumbling each other. Children ran about, grinning from ear to ear and the teachers’ elation was evident too.
Could the addition of a few recreational equipment make these children go on a frenzied hubbub, one might wonder. But of course it can, especially when these were making an appearance at the Karapakkam school after several years. Thanks to World Vision and Sathyabhama University, improved facilities like toilets, drinking water and playgrounds are now a reality in three Panchayat Union Schools in Karapakkam, Kannagi Nagar and Sholinganallur.
“Our school earlier did not have proper toilets for girls and boys, and the condition was very pathetic. It had no ceiling and the doors were in a damaged condition without latches. It was very embarrassing for the students, especially girls to use the toilets. The work of World Vision is very satisfying and now we are comfortable here,” said K R Latha, headmistress of Panchayat Union Primary School, Karapakkam told CE recently.
This renovation initiative is part of the ‘Support My School’, a pan-India project, started by Coca Cola with an aim to improve the facilities in Government Schools. The project is in its second season, in which World Vision has partnered to renovate 100 schools across India. The average cost of renovating each school is ` five lakh, in which Coca Cola has contributes half and World Vision pitches in 25 per cent of the amount. The other 25 per cent is donated by corporates, organisations and individuals. “We want to create a joyful environment for kids, thereby curbing the drop-out rates. We have discussed with the parent-teacher association, education officer and panchayat president before carrying out the renovation,” said Anand Joshua, head, Marketing, World Vision.
Students of the Community Development Club of Sathyabhama University were also elated to be a part of this initiative, as it was an opportunity for them to inspire the younger generation.