To experience the problems faced by children staying in all the SC, ST, BC and Minority hostels in the Suryapet district first hand, the Collector and 83 other officials in the district decided to spend the night with them on Thursday.
“The main motive behind this initiative was to experience and see the real problems these children are facing. As many as 84 district officers including 40 women officers stayed in different hostels in the district,” said K Surendra Mohan, District Collector.
He visited the SC Development Hostel at Bandameedi Chandupatla in Chivvemla mandal on Thursday night.
“The reaction was overwhelming when I reached there, soon the children became comfortable talking about their issues,” he added.
There are 84 hostels in the district out of which 40 are girls’ hostels. As many as 40 women officials spent the night in the girls’ hostels while rest of the officials stayed in the hostels for boys.
“I wanted to see all the hostels, but that would have been time consuming, so we came up with this idea, and it was a change for other officials from their daily work also,” he added.
Talking about some of the issues to The News Minute, the Collector said that the children belong to economically backward families but have high hopes for their future.
I noticed that five of the children do not have a single footwear, immediately I provided the footwear to them. While talking to those children, I realised they are ambitious and serious about their careers,” he added.
He also said that the hostel had poor facilities for the children. Almost ten students were provided with just one bucket, and some do not have a proper closet to keep their belongings.
“Every two students will be provided one bucket, while those who don’t have a closet will be provided boxes to keep their belongings,” the Collector explained.
Talking about the experience, he said that some of the officers who went to different hostels ended up making friends.
“Some of the officers said that they were sharing their childhood memories with the children. Even these kids were asking me about my school days,” he chuckled.
After the interaction with these students, Surendra Mohan realised that the students belonging to the underprivileged sections of society were determined and exceptionally confident about their careers.
Once the children eased into the conversation with the Collector and got talking, they requested him to provide Telugu-to-English dictionaries, for their study purpose.
“These small issues always go unnoticed. They asked for tutors to help them in studies and dictionaries. I have promised them to provide one dictionary to every room,” he said.
Other than that, he has planned to provide nearly 230 specialised tutors for English, Maths and Science to the students who are weak in these subjects.
The Collector instructed officers to paint the hostels by summer and to provide a proper library inside the hostels.
“I have already instructed the Social Welfare Development Officers to repair the damaged toilets within 20 days,” he said.
Interestingly, before the officials were instructed to spend a night with the students, Surendra Mohan, had provided Rs. 10,000 to each officer for resolving the minor issues immediately.
“They were also asking for entertainment and games facility. But I said, I will provide all that only after their exams get over. They all agreed and promised to do well in their exams,” he said.