The Bihar Post

Video: How wastes have fulfilled study dream of unprivileged children in Bihar



PATNA: A school in India’s Bihar state has been collecting wastes as tution fees, instead of money, thus allowing hundreds of poor children get study free of cost.

Padampani School, located at Bodh Gaya in Bihar state, has become a talk of the town for its unique initiative filling colours in the life of hundreds of unprivileged children.

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All that the children have to do for getting enrolled in the school is to pick up wastes from their homes, strewn around their villages or on way to school and deposit them in the dustbins placed outside the school gate.

It is really interesting to see the children dressed in school uniforms with schoolbags dangling from their shoulders and collecting wastes from strewn around their villages and on way to school every morning and deposit them in the school so that they could continue their study.

The idea has proved to be a boon for the poor villagers. While on the one hand it has allowed their children get free education, on the other it has kept the areas clean.

“I have to deposit wastes with the school since this serves as school fees,” said Amarjeet Kumar, a student studying in the school.

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He says the plastic wastes don’t get destroyed and had been disturbing the environment.

Manoarma Kumari, another girl student, said wastes collected by them have worked as their school fee and so it is wonderful to keep the areas clean. “Except for wastes, we have to give nothing to the school,” she added.

School authorities say the collected wastes are later sent for recycling or sold. The money collected from the sale of wastes is spent on running the school but it is not enough to meet the total expenditure. So how does the school then run? Quite many charity organizations impressed with this initiative have come forward and donating funds to this school.

“We charge only wastes as school fees from the students and nothing else. The idea is to make them understand the importance of environmental conservation. This is something which concerns the whole world,” school’s project director Manoranjan Prasad Samdarshi told TheBiharPost by phone.

Manoranjan said the idea has served twin purposes. “While the areas around the school have got neat and clean, the poor children have got the opportunity to study in school. This could not have been possible had the school charged money from them,” he added.

Most of the students enrolled in the school are the children of rag-pickers, labourers and daily wage earners. Some 250 children are enrolled in this school.

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