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SCHOOL ON WHEELS - Don Bosco Mobile School
By Fr. Raymond Tudu, SDB
Kolkata, Mar. 9. Mobile phone is no more an innovation in India, mobile dispensary is quite common, while mobile school is a rare concept. MOBILE SCHOOL (Sorbo Shiksha Mission) is a very special project which was inaugurated by Miss Sripriya Rengarajan - DM Hooghly District, West Bengal on 28th February, 2011.
The DM - Miss Sripriya Rengarajan and the ADM - Miss R. Alice Vaz of Hooghly district have launched a new mission to offer educational facilities to the remotest villages in the district. The official survey shows that there are still many children in every village who do not go to school or are dropouts. The Government is trying to care for these children and enroll them in the schools.

The authorities requested Don Bosco, Bandel to avail a few teachers for this new venture. Fr. NJ Johny, the Rector and Fr. KV Mathew, the Principal consented to this literacy programme, which is in conformity with the neighbourhood apostolate. A bus is provided and three teachers - Madhurima Dey, Sidhu Murmu and Kanu Murmu were appointed as staff members. They are assisted by Mr. Champak Mondol and Fr. Raymond Tudu SDB.

The five member team along with other official members boarded the bus at 10.00 AM from the District Head Quarters at Chinsura. As the colourfully decorated bus reached the Bansbaria village maidan area, it was accompanied by the SONTAN SONGHO BAND from the local club. A big shamiyana was put up by the local authorities to accommodate around 800 people. Thunderous claps were heard as the DM was ushered in for the inaugural function of the Bhramyaman Pathabhavan. The DM delivered a short speech explaining the purpose of the mobile school after which it was inaugurated with the cutting of the ribbon.

The DM and the ADM boarded the bus with all the officials and invited the students with their ID cards to enter their unique class room. The teachers took charge and held the first class in the presence of all the dignitaries while the local people surrounded the bus, vying with each other to have a glimpse of what was going on.

CSTC Bus WB04-9923 now known as Bhramyaman Pathabhavan is the only one of its kind in West Bengal with all the requirements of a class room as blackboard, fans, lights, cushions, mats, cupboards, TV, audio sets etc... The body of the bus can be used as a blackboard.

At present there is only one centre with 40 students where classes are held from Monday to Friday. After six months the whole school will move to another spot designated by the District Magistrate - indeed an innovative way to spread literacy!

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