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Daily labourer donates land for midday meal in school

Jhuka Bauri, who earns about Rs 200 a day, has donated three decimals (1,306 sq ft) of the six decimals he owned to the school.

kolkata Updated: Jun 21, 2018 15:32 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times
Midday Meal,West Bengal,School
Jhuka Bauri handing over land documents to Soumendranath Mandal, headmaster of school.(HT Photo)

A school dropout and a daily labourer has donated a piece of land measuring more than 1,300 sq ft to a primary school so that authorities can build a shed under which students can have their midday meal. The school has 90 students.

Jhuka Bauri, who is around 55, and a resident of Binduidi village of Purulia district in West Bengal, earns his living as a daily wage earner, and somehow runs his family of four. Bauri lives in a single room along with his wife and two sons. On some of the days he does not even get any work.

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Bauri gave away half of the small six-decimal plot (1 decimal = 435.5 sq ft) of land he had. On Monday, the plot was registered at Raghunathpur in the name of the school.

The price of land that Bauri has donated to the school costs about Rs 1 lakh, an amount that he will take about 16 months to earn. According to government rate the cost of the three-decimal plot is Rs 66,000 (Rs 22,000 per decimal). But he did not care to sell it to the school, or anybody else.

The area is about 65 km from Purulia town, the district head quarters, and about 237 km from Kolkata.

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“I have watched the students have their midday meals under the blazing sun. When it rains, the kids have to run to the school balancing their plates of rice and gruel. When we were students we never got a meal, but the students are now fortunate. My plot is adjacent to the school, and so I thought it might be use to them,” said Bauri.

“It is a noble effort. We will construct a shed for the students to have midday meal. We will cultivate vegetable on the remaining land,” said Soumendranath Mandal, headmaster of Binduidi Primary School.

Bauri was born in a poor family. He was admitted to a school poverty forced him out of studies. His son, too, suffered the same fate after primary studies.

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The school authorities have started appealing to the people for money to construct the shed for midday meal. A Rajya Sabha MP has promised Rs 5 lakh. “After getting the money we will start construction,” said the head master.

“We want to turn the school into a model one. The people of the village will remember Bauri’s gesture for a long long time,” said Subrata Shit, a teacher of the school.

The school began on a one decimal piece of land in 1962. But that land was clearly not enough to run a school. Later, Bauri’s relatives gave the school 12 decimals and a new building was constructed in 2010.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 15:32 IST