M A I N   N E W S

Bhagat Puran Singh’s village sets example others can emulate
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Rajewal( Ludhiana), July 20
A shop without a salesman ! Seems unusual. But this village has one for students. A student wanting to buy a notebook picks it up from the stock lying inside the shop and puts money in a box placed on a table outside the shop door.

Students who have no money, put slips with their names written on these in a separate box kept on the table. Whenever they have money, they put it in the cash box and take away their slips. The shop has been opened in Bhagat Puran Singh Memorial Senior Secondary School and Girls College. And it has been named Honesty Shop.

“We are running the shop without an attendant and salesman for several months and we have not encountered cheating on the part of any student nor suffered any loss,” said J.S. Brar, principal of the institution having more than 1,000 students. Notebooks are provided on concessional prices to students. A notebook available for Rs 27 in market is provided for Rs 20 to students.

“Honesty, which has been becoming rare in the country, is at least being made to survive by people of this area. We have many goals for students and the first one is to make them honest citizens. Obviously, we are keen on inculcating honesty in their minds by making them practise it at the school level,” says Balbir Singh Rajewal, patron of the school, who is better known as a leader of the Bharti Kisan Union.

Another example set by the village, famous for being the native place of late Bhagat Puran Singh, is regarding copying. During the annual board or university examinations, parents or relatives of student are not allowed to come near the school. In case anyone is found there, a fine of Rs 500 is slapped on him or her. “We are very clear against copying. It is an evil and enemy of students as well as of the education system. Students stop respecting their teachers when they are encouraged at any level to pass examination with the help of copying,” says Amarjit Singh, president of the management committee of the institution.

“We encourage flying squads to check our students thoroughly during board and university examinations. Our result remains almost 100 per cent in board and university examinations with a good number of students securing near 70- 80 per cent marks,” he adds.

About 60 per cent students get free-of-cost education in the school. The institution is being run with donations and the government has not given a single penny so far to help it. Bhagat Singh Puran’s soul must be resting in peace on seeing people of his village trying to live up to his ideals.

Every member of the 21-member management committee has to give Rs 1,100 at the beginning of every year. Everyone of them recently contributed about Rs 20,000 for buying a bus. School and college caters to the needs of 82 villages in its periphery. There two computer laboratories, and one science laboratory is being set up, but paucity of funds continues to create hurdles in improving the institution.

“When the Badal government will set up Adarsh schools we do not know, but here we are running one. Parkash Singh Badal should send us Rs 2 crore to see as we have fulfilled his dream of an Adarsh school,” says a member of the committee.



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