*SHIKSHAK PARV : CHANGING LIVES*
The second wave of global pandemic had affected the innocent faces of School going children of *Tuilong area of KPI district*. School life is not all about academics, games, friends and fun. In fact it is also about learning to interact with other people, sharing, carrying and respecting each other. Education is a two way teaching learning experience which requires right learning space.
The magnificent Govt Senior Secondary School, Gelnel building overlooks the village on the banks of Irang River. This pioneer educational institution has 13 classrooms with two hostels and is located approx 43 km away from KPI district headquarters. Villagers from far flung villages send their kids to stay in the hostels having capacity *45 for girls and 50 for boys*. But, the lack of infrastructure never bothered them as they couldn’t afford the costly education offered by better schools at district headquarter. The broken cement patch work gave the building a gloomy appearance. The whitewash in classrooms was probably not done for decades. Adding to it was no electric fitting in classrooms cried for 21st century amenities in Naya Bharat. But, these students and their parents had no choice rather to wait for their fate to turn their plight.
Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually on 05 September to mark the birthday of the country’s former President, scholar, philosopher and Bharat Ratna awardee, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on this day in 1888. To mitigate the above problems of students and staff of this school, 44 Assam Rifles under aegis of 22 Sect AR/IGAR (East) undertook repairing of school and its two hostels. This monsoon the men in combats *choose to challenge* yet in another field. Within their meager resources they resolved to revamp the school and its hostel buildings. The idea of renovation would assist the school leaders in repositioning the old fashioned and ageing infrastructure for the future by implementing suitable solutions that include adaptive educational space solutions as well as infrastructure. The school required repair of building, repainting, landscaping, arboriculture, cleanliness drive to create a safe and pleasant learning environment. In order to develop the desired learning experience, school renovation is imp for making a replacement and creating a contemporary infrastructure that meets the needs of upgraded pedagogy by reshaping the learning spaces and making it more futuristic. School renovation process itself is a sustainable practice to developing the existing infrastructure into an energy efficient environment providing clean air to breathe and fresh energy to use and also socially and technically advanced in nature. The need to repair and renovate this school arose as it appeared that the learning infrastructure was failing in adding value in a student’s life in these remote areas.
Inspired by the initiative of 44 Assam Rifles, many students and their parents too toiled with jawans. The spark in their eyes to achieve a milestone in *Atma Nirbhar Bharat* through community participation kept them motivated. The battalion motivated and channelised the youth for constructive developmental activity in their Alma Mater. It’s a true reflection that the chief medium of education for affecting social change is mind. As the renovation work progressed it started creating sound conditions for the people to welcome and adopt social change by bringing good infrastructure, utilities and desirability in front of their eyes. As the school prepares to open soon it is bound to see more footfall of students and reduce dropouts. The human grit & will power has again won against all odds in *Naya Bharat*. A new chapter of Atma Nirbhar Bharat has been written in Gelnel village by 44 Assam Rifles and local villagers. This definitely shall aid in emergence of a new social changes in the area. It would lend stability and continuity to the society by transmitting worthwhile culture of society over generations.
The renovated school was inaugurated by Commandant, 44 Assam Rifles on 05 Sep and handed over to school authorities as *a gift on Teachers Day celebration*. This year the battalion is celebrating this day as Shikshak Parv, dedicated to the Teachers. Speaking on the occasion he said that each child has the right to best education imparted in best environment. The Govt had constructed the school building but, it’s our responsibility as community to take care of it. It is a place where children are molded into future leaders. The image they get embedded in their childhood is carried throughout their life and becomes a habit. However, right environment and learning space for education prepares an individual for social changes. Your’s this small but, firm step would definitely ignite many other minds in the society. This change shall ignite, direct and guide many other social changes and help in social upliftment. To commemorate the will power of students and their parents a plant of hope was planted in the school premises by the commandant.
The story of Atma Nirbhar Bharat would be incomplete without the narrative of locals, students joining hands with SF in achieving this rare feet. This is Naya Bharat where the community plans and execute developmental works within available resources.