The Gujarat government recently launched a pilot and unique project, ‘School on Wheels’ for the children of salt pan workers. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani introduced the project saying,
“The idea is to provide infrastructure and teaching facility as part of Right to Education (RTE) for children in the 6-14 age groups studying in primary schools from Class I to VIII.”
Launched ‘School on Wheels’ – a unique pilot project for the children of salt pan workers. The idea is to provide infrastructure and teaching facility as part of Right to Education (RTE) for children in the 6-14 age groups studying in primary schools from Class I to VIII. pic.twitter.com/3KMzA1poPa
— Vijay Rupani (@vijayrupanibjp) July 11, 2018
An estimated 1,200 children from Class I to VIII are expected to be benefited by the project. The project has been launched in collaboration with the Gujarat State Transport Corporation and involves using its unused buses for the programme.
Gujarat accounts for about 70% of the total salt production of the country.
A standard bus, accommodating the school, will be stationed in the desert. The bus has a PVC flooring, 18 writing desks, LCD, ceiling fans, LED lights and a writing board. Drinking water will also be provided to the children. The bus is 10 meters long and can accommodate around 22 students.
Plans are afoot to introduce 30 such buses as part of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).
Salt pan workers move in the desert around September and are stationed there till April the following year. Till now, students used to study in makeshift tents and structures, which would not last through extreme weather conditions
There are around 8,000 families of salt pan workers, who move in the desert in Kutch, Surendranagar, Banaskantha, Patan, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Bharuch districts.