Covid-19 lockdown: Migrant workers paint Rajasthan school to express gratitude

Updated on Apr 22, 2020 04:14 PM IST

Six workers began painting the building on April 19, and have completed the verandahs so far. On Wednesday, they began painting the classrooms.

A migrant family takes to the road after the announcement of the extension of lockdown, on Ajmer road in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on April 14, 2020. (Image for representation)(Himanshu Vyas / Hindustan Times)
A migrant family takes to the road after the announcement of the extension of lockdown, on Ajmer road in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on April 14, 2020. (Image for representation)(Himanshu Vyas / Hindustan Times)
Hindustan Times, Jaipur | By

Migrants workers living at a government school at Palsana village in Rajasthan are painting the building to express their gratitude to local residents who caring for them during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Six workers began painting the building on April 19, and have completed the verandahs so far. On Wednesday, they began painting the classrooms.

“We are labourers. We will become sick if we continue to sit idle,” said Shankar Singh Chauhan, 58, from Haryana.

“Gaonwalo ne hamari itni achchi vyavastha kar rakhi hai. Badle me hum bhi gaon ke liye kuch karna chahte hain (The villagers made very good arrangements for us. We wanted to do something for them in return),” he added.

The district administration brought 54 workers from Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the government senior secondary school at Palsana in Sikar district, 90 km from Jaipur, on March 31 when they were found moving around during the nationwide lockdown.

The workers were restless – they had been without work for 15 days.

“They started cleaning the school campus from April 15, and on April 18, they came to us to ask for work that would be remembered long after they are gone,” said the school’s principal, Rajendra Kumar Meena.

He said the school hadn’t been painted for 10 years. “I discussed with sarpanch Roop Singh Shekhawat if we could arrange for paint. He agreed. My colleagues agreed to fund one 20-litre can of paint each,” he said.

“We brought paint and other materials for them and they began painting the verandahs the next day.”

Shekhawat said some of the workers had done this sort of work earlier, and the others were helping by scrubbing off the old paint and cleaning the building.

“Around six people are painting the school,” Shekhawat said, adding the workers are given three meals and fruits in the evening.

“They were happy with our facilities and so they are doing this in gratitude,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rakesh Goswami leads Hindustan Times’ bureau in Rajasthan. He loves to write on social issues and has been a journalist for 20 years, including 8 years as a broadcast journalist.

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