Mata Sahib Kaur Public Senior Secondary School at Swara village — on the Landran-Chunni road — in SAS Nagar has been running without regular power connection for 16 years, as it does not have the Change in Land Use (CLU) certificate that will give it legal status. The managing committee of Gurdwara Teg Bahadur in Sector 34, Chandigarh, runs the school and the land (around 8 acres) was purchased from a farm owner.
The co-education school with 2,108 students from Pre-nursery till Class 12 is thus spending Rs 1.5 lakh a month to run three generators to meet its electricity needs. It aims to provide the same opportunities to children in rural areas as are available in the urban areas. Solar panels are also installed. The staff strength is 102 . “We started the school in April 2000 and use the latest audio-visual aids,” said Ranjit Kaur, principal, Mata Sahib Kaur Public Senior Secondary School, Swara village in SAS Nagar.
Sadhu Singh, president, Sector 34 gurdwara, said, “The application for change in land use is pending with the government. The first time we applied for the CLU was in 2000. This was rejected on the ground that the road leading to the school is too narrow.”
“We were told that 40-feet wide road is needed, but we had just 11 feet, so we purchased more land. We applied again in July 2015 for CLU certificate under ‘Regularisation of un-authorised building policy’, but the matter is pending.
Officials with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), the authority that has to be grant the CLU, said that the school building was not built with requisite permissions. Till the discrepancies were removed, the CLU could not be granted.
600 children have free food at school
The school provides free food for 600 children of the junior school in the classroom. “We conducted a survey of 50-60 villages before starting the school which revealed deficiency of minerals in children. We decided to give free food to children ,” the principal said.
The school is working towards inculcating and preserving traditional values and also encourages sports. Training is imparted in kirtan and gathka and sports like Taekwando. The uniform is salwar-kameez for girls and all are expected to keep their heads covered on premises .