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Here is the latest status report ( as of 13 March, 2001) of the Aadariyana village school rebuilding project:
· Legal agreement done
· Architect appointed
· Site engineer appointed
· Soil testing done
· Start of construction Bhoomi Pooja on March 26, 2001
· Civil contractor appointed
· One day workshop on vision sharing conducted (it went off superb ! 35 village people participated ).
· Fund Raising going on, Rs.27.39 lacs out of Rs.103 lacs is collected.
1. Current School Principal
Mr.Devshibhai Solanki is the Principal of Adariyana Prathmik Shala. He is a scheduled caste person who is much respected in the village. Upon meeting him his belief in education and firm resolve to carry out his duties comes across very clearly. He is blessed with a quite yet commanding disposition and he guides the village members most ably.
So much so that a few days after the earthquake he was out in the village visiting his students homes and asking them to rejoin school as the school was to start in a tent. He has managed this feat and is recording almost 90% attendance at Aadariyana Prathmik Shala whereas the best schools in Ahmedabad may be recording 50% attendance. It is the good fortune of the village that they have people like him whose defiance and will to restore normalcy will surely stand them in good stead.
It also gives us the confidence that our efforts will be getting guidance at a local level by a person who is respected by the village, is committed to education, wants to restore life back to normal and is mature.
2. Legal Agreement
Eklavya and the District Collector have signed an agreement regarding the project, Panchayat has agreed to give land elsewhere (a larger plot, so a better school, with more open playfields is now possible). The Executive Director of Core went on Sunday 18 Feb, saw the new site, agreed to it, now the village people have started the procedure of transferring the land for purpose of school (this is a longish procedure but our work need not wait).
There is also an agreement between the village Gram Panchayat and Eklavya (the current grampanchayat has finished its term on February 5, 2001 and elections for the new Panchayat look nowhere near). So the agreement with Eklavya has been signed by about 20 people who represent various castes and communities of the village and belong to the old leadership as well the new one.
This agreement yet has to be formally approved by the Government of Gujarat. Informally they have approved but they are still in the process of deciding the signing authority.
3. Architect, Site Engineer, Soil Testing
The architect is Jayendra Bhatt, age 56, a capable and simple person with experience in the Latur earthquake rehabilitation. He has been a visiting faculty at the School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad and the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He was the National Executive Vice President of Jaycees and also associated with the Ahmedabad Study Action Group, ASAG. He has also worked on many DPEP (District Primary Education Project) school buildings.
The site engineer Biren Shah, 35 years, BE (Civil, 1985), has been working in Core and Eklavya since 1994, and has been responsibile for civil works worth Rs.18 crore so far.
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