Rain, poor infrastructure mar Modi's address in rural schools

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Jandala
  • Updated: Sep 06, 2014 00:05 IST

An electrician rushed through the narrow lanes of the village carrying a television set, with a teacher covering him with an umbrella to protect it from the rain in a desperate bid to ensure that students could watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi's live address on the Teachers' Day.

However, on reaching the government elementary school in Bhorchi Rajpootan village, they found that there was no electricity, leaving the students staring at blank screen of the TV set.

Since the staff members of this school worked sincerely and were very keen to ensure that students do listen to the PM's speech, the teachers on their own had also arranged for a radio and an antenna.

After listening to a part of Modi's speech on the radio, smiles came back on the faces of students as the electric supply was restored and the television set was on. They enjoyed the audio-visual link with the Prime Minister for about 40 minutes and then there was power outage again and it was back to the good old radio.

About 150 students who had reached the school without caring about the heavy rains got a mixed bag of excitement and disappointment.

Talking to HT, school teacher Maninder Pal Singh said, "Our effort was that students do listen to the speech of the Prime Minister. That's why we arranged for a TV set as well as a radio. At times, there was power break-up, but the TV worked for quite a long period and students were happy".

Had the teachers of this school not been active enough, the students could not have listened to the Prime Minister's address.

The scenario was no different in a couple of other rural schools visited by an HT team.

One of them had no television and the teachers had to depend on a computer to watch the PM's address through internet. This was Gram Panchayat High school in the same village. The staff had arranged for the entire show in the school lawn, but the rain forced them to move indoors. And with no television in the school, the teachers had no option but using a computer to make students watch the address. As the computer was placed in the computer room, it was dark in the room at times as there were frequent power outages.

Balwinder Kumar, a teacher in the school, said, "We had made oudoor arrangements but heavy rain spoiled the things. Still arrangements were made in the computer room to help students listen the speech."

Notably, teachers in most of the rural schools were seen working hard to help things going but poor infrastructure and heavy rains created hurdles.

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