Dhoom Manikpur Village Primary and Upper-Primary School in Dadri, Greater Noida has become a role model for other schools on many fronts. It is the only school in its neighborhood to have student-friendly facilities which give equal opportunities to all students including specially-abled students.
Just over a year ago, an active busy road passed through the school that put the lives of students at risk. Now, with the help of SRF Foundation and support of the community, the school has successfully built a boundary wall to ensure the safety and security of the students.
Initially, the community was hesitant to help the school, but today this school has become an epicenter of community learning. Much has changed since the school was renovated and making it one of its kind school in the area which is also open to specially-abled students.
Dhoom Manikpur now boasts district level badminton teams, successful Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan (BBBP) activities, community teaching, smart classes and almost everything that a private ought to have.
“Where there’s a will there’s a way”
This is the secret mantra of the teachers at the Dhoom Manikpur Village School that also encourages students to study.
Chandini Maurya, class 6, is one such student who is the star performer of her class despite suffering from Hemiparesis.
Hemiparesis is a disorder that leads to muscle weakness or partial paralysis on one side of the body that can affect the arms, legs and facial muscles.
Her class teacher, Ms. Manjari Dwivedi said that she is the brightest student of the class and is the first one to submit her homework.
“I have taught her for six months now and I am amazed to see her grasping power. She mostly gives the right answers and writes them down if she can’t speak. Her friends help her a lot on her way to full recovery,” said Ms. Dwivedi.
Chandini dreams to become a doctor one day and plans to join the country’s big hospitals and treat the needy.
“Just like my younger sister, Anjali, I also want to become a doctor, my sister has bagged a scholarship and I am also working towards it. I wanted to join this school because it was friendly and the teachers helped me. I play carom and chess with my friends,” said Chandini Maurya.
The students are also aided by smart classrooms, these interactive classes helps student retain what they are being taught. Though, there is still a debate on what is better for students –A blackboard teaching or Interactive Teaching- the school still embraces the digital learning experience.
Learning it the Right Way
Better Toilets- A big boon
“The toilets here were never in a functioning condition. They used to stink and going there used to be a challenge for us. Now, not only the toilets are regularly maintained but are also cleaned every day,” said Priya, a class 8th student.
“My parents were going to strike my name off the school list due to dearth of facilities, but now with so many new facilities I have even enrolled my sister’s name here,” said Pooja, a class 8th student.
“With clean drinking water, functioning toilets and hygienic conditions, the girls are now regular to school. Some of them even have 100% attendance,” said Ms. Shushma Rani, Principal, Primary School Dhoom Manikpur.
Workbooks- Learning by Doing
The SRF Foundation has provided the students with workbooks of all subjects. These workbooks not only help students practice what they learn in class but also help them in revising on their own. Filled with interactive exercises, these workbooks are the ultimate favourite of students of all ages.
“We are provided with new workbooks every month. This has not only helped us revise our lessons but also helps us get a better understanding of things,” said Kiran, Class 8.
“I used to hate Mathematics earlier as I never used to understand formulas, but now with workbooks, I can now practice and learn on my own which has made Mathematics my favorite subject,” said Jwala, Class 8.
Tracksuits and Sports Shoes- Helping students play better
SRF Foundation has also provided students from Class 6th to 8th tracksuits and sports shoes to help them engage in different sports activities with ease. These new clothes have brought some genuine smiles which was written large across the face of students.
“We got these next track suits last week. We are really happy to get this as we can now play badminton easily which we were not able to in our school uniform,” said Payal, a class 7th student.
“We recently got brand new sports shoes to help us play badminton. I make sure I clean the dust off them the moment I reach back home. These shoes are very dear to me as they are my first ever sports shoes,” said Supriya, a 6th class student.
Playing it the right way- Badminton
IndiGo has partnered with Yonex to provide badminton racquets in all schools to help students get the best of amenities. SRF Foundation extends their help of leveling badminton courts and ensuring that all equipments reach the schools.
Dhoom Manikpur School is also home to the district level badminton team and players. Their days start with basic exercises followed by practice matches.
“Our school never had any kind of sports equipments. Now we not only have our own badminton court but also the best quality badminton racquets. We spend most of our time practicing and getting better at badminton,” said Rukhsar a class 7th student.
“We have been assigned a coach specially to train us in the field of badminton. We are no not only getting better in Badminton but are also realizing how much we like playing the sport. We are really happy to get such facilities in a small school like Dhoom Manikpur,” said Durga, a class 7th student.
Looking at Future
A leaky roof, broken furniture, unpainted walls, stinky washrooms- These descriptions are enough to make you imagine a school with almost nothing to help a student learn and grow.
The condition of Primary School Dhoom Manikpur has drastically changed in the past two years with better infrastructure, clean toilets, new books and much more. All the changes have been brought about by the SRF Foundation, who are carrying the CSR initiative of IndiGo to improve the condition of schools all over India.
While better school infrastructure has helped ignite the student’s interest of coming to school, the provision of separate toilets has played a big role in increasing the girl student’s attendance ratio.
Text by: Shivanshi Tomer & Harshit Mansukhani
Photos by: Anurag Kumar & Shivanshi Tomer