Parents' Association Fights for Rights
Kalighati is a small village, 25 km from Petlawad tehsil in Jhabua district. The village is named after Kalka Mata whose temple is situated in the village. Kalighati is a gram panchayat with nine villages under it. Inhabited by about 200 families, Kalighati hamlet is divided into two hamlets – School and Gamad. Since sarpanch is from school hamlet, all the infrastructures gram panchayat Bhawan, anganwadi Bhawan, ration shop, primary and upper primary schools are all run from this hamlet, while Gamad hamlet is devoid of any government building and government schemes.
In January 2004, the Government sanctioned Rs 3.50 lakh for the construction of a middle school building. Information about building construction was given to the village residents by the gram sabha. The villagers were also informed that the school would be constructed at the School hamlet. When this matter came in the knowledge of Gamad hamlet, the parents’ association raised a unified voice to get the building constructed at their village. Residents of Gamad hamlet and parents’ association wrote to the Block Education Officer, Chief Executive Officer Petlawad, and District Magistrate that they wanted the proposed building to be constructed in their hamlet, otherwise they do not need this building. They also pointed out that School hamlet had so far benefited from all the government schemes and government building. They claimed that children from seven or eight villages will benefit if the school was located in their hamlet and pointed out that if the building was constructed in the School hamlet, the children would have to cross a drain and would not be able to attend the school when the drain swelled. They promised to extend all the help in the building construction by shramdan (voluntary contribution of labour).
As a result the Gram Panchayat decided to get the building constructed at the Gamad hamlet. It was also decided that classes 1 to 5 would be run at School hamlet and classes 6 to 8 at the Gamad hamlet. The building construction was supervised by the parents’ association and villagers extended support through shramdan.