No benches for students in Mohali govt schools

When it comes to Mohali, the state government has boasted about its development, "international" stadiums and upcoming airport among other things. But perhaps it could start with providing benches to school children rather than building a "helipad on a bus stand".

A survey carried out by Chandigarh Newsline in government primary schools found that two-thirds of all primary school kids did not have benches to sit on.

There are only 718 benches, mostly donated, for around 4,050 kids in these schools. Only 33.7 percent of the kids get to sit on benches, while the rest sit on the ground.

In two primary schools in Phase 3b2 (Sector 60) and in Lambian village (Sector 69), there is not a single bench for the students, while the schools in Phase 1, Phase 9 and Phase 7 have less than a dozen benches each. The school in Phase 5 is the only one where every student has a bench to sit on.

"We do not like sitting on the ground. In winters it gets very cold. That is the time when we really hate not having benches," said a class IV student.

"I think our kids deserve benches to sit and write on just like in private schools. I wonder why the government has never given a thought to it," added his father, Ramesh.

Most of the available benches are not provided by the government but have been donated by organisations or individuals. There was not a single bench in the school at Phase 3b1 until two years ago when an individual donated over 100 single-seater benches. Likewise, all benches in the Mauli Baidwan school are donated, while at the Shahi Majra school 35 of the 45 benches are donated. Surprisingly, even the mats students sit on are donated in many schools.

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