The government primary school at Hydernagar in Serilingampally, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, is unlike any other government school in the state. With a fresh coat of paint, the school sports a tidy look and boasts of basic amenities including toilet, drinking water and newly laid flooring.
Not surprisingly, the government had nothing to do with the school's revamped look. The school was granted a new lease of life by political party Lok Satta, which decided to adopt the school and provide basic facilities.
Lok Satta, headed by bureaucrat-turned-social-activist-turned-politician Dr Jayprakash Narayan, has been advocating a new political culture and cleaner public life. The party has spent Rs 60,000 to solve the problems of this neglected school.
"We have accomplished the task with the help of some philanthropists," said Narayan, a legislator from Kukatpally.
"The work was supervised by a committee comprising the parents, head master and a local Lok Satta leader. The school staff told us that they were suffering very badly due to the lack of basic amenities," he informed.
"We were forced to use the toilets of the neighbours in the absence of such a basic facility here," said a lady teacher.
After conducting a survey of primary schools in the state, Narayan said that there were 18 lakh school students in Hyderabad and the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district, but nearly two thirds of them opted for private schools because of lack of facilities in the government schools.
Narayan also visited another government high school in Nizampatanam. Local residents told the legislator that certain elements had encroached on the school land with the support of local politicians.