Teachers and villagers from Deoni tehsil in Maharashtra's Latur district came together to raise Rs 40.78 lakh to refurbish schools in the area. Manoj Raut, the Block Development Officer, said on Tuesday that 261 ZP teachers and a large number of villagers went about convincing people about the cause and the need of donating.
"They went to every hamlet in the tehsil, organized parent meetings, enlisted elected officials from the program panchayat level, and raised Rs 40.78 lakh from the public to refurbish ZP schools," Raut said. In Wagnalwadi village, during one such meeting, a corpus of Rs 75,000 was raised immediately and put in a box, he said. There are 54 villages and 45-gram panchayats in the tehsil, which has 65 ZP schools, 60 of which are being renovated, an official said, adding that of the Rs 40 lakh collected, a sum of 23 lakh was raised by villagers and the rest by teachers.
Raut said the renovation is being carried out as part of the 'BaLa project' under ZP Chief Executive Officer Abhinav Goyal. Post renovation, the ZP schools have attracted more students, many of them having left English medium schools in the vicinity, said Deoni Panchayat Samiti deputy chairperson Shankarrao Patil Talegaokar.
"There has been an increase of 5.80 per cent in student strength in ZP schools in Deoni," Talegakar said. Pandharpur village ZP teacher Balasaheb Kambale thanked Raut and other officials for the guidance that led to so many people getting together to raise funds to renovate local schools.