Alumni Sculpting Bright Future of Odisha

HYDERABAD: Renowned sculptor Rabi Narayan Sahoo, son of the globally-acclaimed Sudarshan Sahoo from Puri, regularly visits his 170-year-old alma mater, Puri Zilla School, to explore ways to assist its 1,629 students.

A class of 1984 alumnus, Sahoo is part of a larger movement across Odisha, where thousands of alumni contribute to enhancing their former schools.

"My children are now all grown up, but if they were younger, I'd have enrolled them into this school which has smart classrooms, e-libraries, gymnasium, sports coaches and so much more than a private school," Sahoo told Deccan Chronicle.

Beyond financial aid, he has been leading the alumni to show up, donate and mentor students.

Harinath Mohanty, 62, another alumnus of Kushavadra Government High School, set in one of the most rural villages of Bhakarsahi in Odisha, has helped raise Rs 15 lakh to the school, said headmaster Raghunath Lenka.

"From telling students what the outside world holds, to inspiring them to professions outside engineering and medicine, especially entrepreneurship, has been a great pleasure," he said while lauding the Odisha government for coming with the MoSchool (My School) initiative that encourages alumni to give back to their school.

While the school does grapple with electricity issues once in a while, they have their alumni fight for it with the local leaders. "It's not just the rich and wealthy who come forward to help their schools," said Bijay Das, a fruit vendor, who donates a tenth of his earnings every month to the school where his granddaughter studies.

As part of MoSchool Abhiyan, for every one rupee that the alumni contribute to the school, the Odisha government pays Rs 2. The Odisha government also awards the best alumni work.

5T mantra transforming school education in Odisha.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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