No Roads or Electricity, but the School in this village is in Excellent Condition. Thanks to One Man. Badwankala, a small village in Bihar, is located 1,500 feet above sea level. This hilltop village has no electricity, water and even connectivity to the main road. It was only a few months ago that the first vehicles started reaching this place, otherwise there was no other way to get here but to walk. Most people in this remote area haven’t even stepped out of the village their entire lives. But there is a man here who runs a school where students recite English poems, excel academically, and are dressed like private school students.
“Our village is just like what it was when the country became independent. We are stuck in 1947. There are no facilities. Can you believe that people here have not even seen a train in their entire lives?” asks Madan.
Madan completed his primary education in Badwankala and then went off to a school located 20 km far from the village. After completing intermediate college, he worked as a school teacher in a private school for five years. But the sad state of education in his own village kept haunting him. “There is literally no facility in our village. We have to walk at least a kilometre to fetch water. There is no electricity and there are no roads. I do not have words to explain the misery of the residents here. I contacted the government officials so many times but no action was taken by them,” says Madan. “The condition of the school was terrible. It was started in 1953 but hardly anyone went to the school. I opened the locks and took charge,” he recalls.
He started spreading the awareness about education in the village and asked people to send their kids to school. To better the facilities and attract more students, he made the best possible use of the government’s Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. Free books, uniforms, mid-day meals. and financial incentives were part of the programme and Madan utilised them to the full.
“Around 500 students from two nearby villages come to attend the school. I try my best to teach them too, but I cannot do everything. We need more teachers and facilities, at least to draw village children to the school” he says. “There are only six rooms here. We need at least four more to accommodate the students. Also, the playground’s boundary wall is broken. We need to repair that and fix the ground, which is uneven and students sometimes hurt themselves while playing. We are not asking much from the government. All we want is some more teachers and more rooms, as we are not able to manage 500 students in such tiny premises. When the country is progressing so much, it hurts me to see this region being neglected. Don’t these people have the right to lead a better life?” asks Madan.