The Uttar Pradesh education department has decided to employ migrant workers in all 75 districts to give a makeover to government-run primary and upper primary schools in the state.
Under the project, called "Mission Kayakalp", the migrant workers will be engaged in construction of boundary walls, gates, fencing of kitchen gardens and developing playgrounds in primary and upper primary schools.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) Prayagraj, Sanjay Kumar Kushwaha, where work under the project has begun, said, "The project is being funded by gram panchayats under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS). The department has set September 30 as a deadline to complete these projects."
In Prayagraj district, the plan is being implemented in around 85 percent of the 3,479 of primary and upper primary government schools.
State project directorate of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan was provided with details of the work being undertaken in 846 out of the 1,050 schools.
Last month, three migrant workers from Hyderabad, quarantined in a primary school at Narainpur village in Unnao district, spent their time in painting and ended up giving a complete makeover to the school premises.
Their initiative even found a mention in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the launch of the "Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana".
The three workers, Vinod, Arun and Kamlesh, (belonging to nearby villages) worked as painters in Hyderabad and had returned to their home state on April 22 amidst the lockdown.
"We were bored with the routine of just eating and sleeping. We asked the village head if we could do some work in the quarantine centre itself. However, he denied permission because making us work would have been a violation of quarantine protocols," the workers said.
After considerable persuasion, the village head Raju Yadav gave them some paint and other raw material and allowed them to paint the school where they had been quarantined.
It may be recalled that in April this year, the state government had directed officials to ensure that migrant workers returning from other cities during the lockdown are offered jobs in their native villages.
The state project directorate of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan has received data from 48,891 out of 1,58,918 schools in UP about the progress of the project.
Around 18 districts including Prayagraj, Kanpur Dehat, Bareilly, Mirzapur and Fatehpur have reported a progress of 60 percent in the work.
Sixteen districts including Lucknow, Kaushambhi, Meerut and Barabanki have reported progress of about 50 percent completion of work.