In a unique effort to teach students honesty, Government High School Benra of Dhuri sub-division here started a ‘Sach di Dukaan’ or ‘truth shop’.
Based on mathematics teacher Devi Dayal’s idea, the school has set up an unmanned stationery store from where students can buy supplies and drop money for it in a ‘gullak’ placed there.
Yet another novel feature of this store is that if students do not have money to buy supplies, they can borrow, use and then replace them.
Devi Dayal told HT that his inspirations for the project were teachers Mohan Sharma and Mohinder Singh Longowal who had opened a similar shop in 1974 at a school in Khanankala village in Dirba sub-division of Sangrur district.
“I thought it would be a good initiative to teach moral lessons to students while helping them as many of them come to school without study materials as most of their parents are not well off. Now, we have decided to provide them materials and they can pay when they have the money,” said Dayal.
He said the shop was opened on Independence Day with stationary worth Rs 1,000, and a few days ago the school management found over Rs 600 in the gullak.
“In the first month, we found that more than 70% of those who used the shop were honest, but we want 100% results,” said Dayal.
However, the mathematics teacher ruled out imposing honesty on the students to achieve it and said, “It is up to them. We are sure of achieving our goal of producing honest citizens from our school.”
In a precursor to Dayal’s ‘Sach di Dukaan’, almost a decade ago, BKU (Rajewal) president Balbeer Singh Rajewal also set up an ‘honesty shop’ at a school in his native Rajewal near Khanna.
As he was admitted at a hospital, his aid told HT that Rajewal had opened the shop at Bhai Puran Bhagat Singh Memorial School.
He was the president of the school, the shop encouraged over 1,000 students to imbibe the virtue. Dayal, along with other mathematics teachers, has now instituted the Ramanujan Award, a cash prize of Rs 5,100 for excellence in mathematics among the district students.
The Benra government school management has also followed suit and started a health project for students.