How a WhatsApp group saved a school from closing down

Published: 22nd August 2016 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2016 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

SIVAGANGA:At a time when social media is in the news for all the wrong reasons, natives of Kannimarpatti village who have settled abroad have shown how technology can be a tool for social change at the grassroots level. What more, the goodwill gesture by the members even made the administration rethink its decisions.

How.jpgThe Government Union Primary School in Kannimarpatti village near the Sivaganga district was about to be closed down due to poor strength. But thanks to the WhatsApp group Kannimarpatti Fire Way, this decision has changed. Members of the group, primarily youngsters living abroad, have ensured at least 60 new admissions this year by giving the school a major facelift.  

“The fate of the school was the topic of discussion in the group for over six months,” says P Thirupathi, an alumni and a member of the group. “The school had mere 12 students studying from Class I to V last year. We decided that we have to improve the infrastructure to the level of private schools to attract students. For this, we started collecting donations and managed to get `7 lakh in the process which was used to refurbish the school,” he says. “Actually, a majority of members in the group live abroad and did not study in this school. Yet, about 120 people came forward to donate money for the cause.” The school building was renovated and painted with assistance from the group. New fans, tables, chairs and benches were also provided.

“We realised that many people in the village could not afford private schools. Yet, they preferred private schools due to lack of amenities in the government facility,” adds Thirupathi. “While unlike private schools the government ones have no kindergarten section, we got special permission to start LKG and UKG classes in the school at our own expense,” he says.

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