Decades after the school was established the Government Primary School in Rattewal village of Nawanshahr in Punjab, received a Christmas present thanks to the school staff, the village panchayat and an NRI who played Santa for the children. They received the gift of benches.
The majority of the children who are from migrant families, finally got benches to sit on in their classrooms. The gift was given without any government help as there is no provision of funds for furniture for Grades I to V, and all the children sat on the ground even when it was cold in the winters.
The benches were the result of efforts of the school staff and help from the panchayat who approached Khwahish – an organisation run by a Canada NRI to help government schools in improving their infrastructure.
A total of 57 benches for 114 children were purchased at a cost of Rs.57,000. The generous NRI paid 50 percent of the cost.
Sadly the central flagship programme across India does not provide a grant for furniture in primary schools.