With admissions for class 8 students being opened for the first time in 2018, the school has come a long way in these 10 years. Affiliated to Odisha State Board, it employs 12 teachers, 1 peon, and 1 aaya to take care of the 180 students coming from bastis at Khandagiri Bari, Bharatpur, Naka Gate, Ghatikia, Aignia, Kolathia, and Baramunda. Classes are held in morning and day shifts so as to accommodate for lack of classroom space. The fees in the school are one-third that of other local schools. Even with that, a good number of families do not manage to pay school fees regularly. “We’re in debt by 4 lakhs just from that; but we manage,” says Mr. Pandab. “Last year, 30 students from a nearby orphanage – Jeevan Jyoti Ashram, approached us for admissions. If we can teach 150, who are we to deny education to another 30? Now, we’re giving them free education at our school.” In fact, this year, the school trustees decided to do away with the admission fees altogether. “We buy books for them, we arrange autos for their transport, we do whatever we can.”
It’s crisis time now. When cyclone Fani hit Bhubaneswar on 3rd May, 2019, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, it didn’t spare the school. Asbestos sheets were broken, some were blown away completely. There was significant damage to the newly constructed rooms and the playground as well, to the extent that, when schools reopen post Summer Vacation on 18th June, our Shishu Vikash Vidya Mandir won’t be in a condition to resume classes for any of its 180 students.
In a moment like this, the school, its staff, its 180 children need our support. “There has never been government support of any kind. There are no midday meals at our school. Or a tank for water reserve. Our Guru Maa and Guru Ji sometimes have to go without salary for months. We have even leased family gold to keep the school running. Until now.”
We at Unmukt Foundation, Khandagiri – an organization that works on environment, education, and preserving local culture, have been associated with the school for a few years now. With your help, we aim to get the school back on its feet. A prelimnary and a further detailed estimation by our engineers pegs the cost of restoration at INR 8 lakhs. Find below the cost estimation break-up –
- Dismantling – Rs. 10,600.00
- Fresh Construction – Rs. 612,000.00
- 10% as Design and PMC Charges – Rs. 68,380.00
- Service-Tax as 15% on Services – Rs. 10,257.00
- Other Miscellaneous Expenses – Rs. 37,563.00
8 lakhs. And we have 10 days to generate the fund. Here’s an earnest appeal to contribute heartily towards the cause. Contribute yourselves. Reach out to friends, family, acquaintances. The smallest of contributions can go a long way in ensuring that normalcy is restored at SVVM, Khandagiri Bari.
We have a picture in mind. A picture of hope. That come 18th June, 2019, SVVM gates are thrown open once again. That the voices of 180 little children ring in its corridors and classrooms once again. That humanity triumphs, all over again. Help us bring this picture to life. Contribute towards the SVVM cause.