It looks just like any other bus from the outside – a bit more colourful than the regular government transport vehicle perhaps, but a bus nevertheless. Step inside, however, and a big surprise awaits you. Welcome to the unique School on Wheels that has just been launched in Gujarat.
Part of a pilot project to educate children of salt pan workers who do not have access to schools in the vicinity, the first School on Wheels was flagged off by state Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Wednesday. The mobile school has a classroom with blackboards and writing desks.
The target beneficiaries are children in the age group of 6-14 years, in Classes I to VIII. They will be provided infrastructure and teaching as part of the Right to Education (RTE).
A report in The Times of India said that it involved retrofitting an unused standard bus with green board, PVC flooring, and 18 writing desks. It has a 3.7 KV upgrade solar system, six ceiling fans and as many LED lights. A TV, fire extinguisher, drinking water tank, and louvres to ward off sandstorms or rains complete this mobile classroom. It cost Rs 3.5 lakhs to convert the unused bus to a School on Wheels.
The bus has been painted in bright colours in a bid to make it pleasant and attractive for the children it expects to attract.
The plan is to eventually have 30 such mobile schools to cater to the children of salt pan workers in Kutch, Patan, Surendranagar, Amreli, Banaskantha, Bharuch, and Bhavnagar districts of Gujarat. These workers stay near the salt pans along the sea coasts in these districts for over six months in a year.
The Gujarat Chief Minister launched the first such School on Wheels in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama. The project has been taken up in collaboration with the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC).
(Source for all photos – Official Twitter account of the Chief Minister of Gujarat)