Narayanpur primary school in Unnao which was painted by migrants
LUCKNOW: A group of three migrant workers quarantined at a primary school in a nondescript village Narayanpur of Unnao district is an inspiration behind the launch of Rs 50,000 crore scheme for lakhs of workers. While launching the ‘Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana’ on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he came to know about this village school which had been painted by migrants who had come from south India and been quarantined there.
The school was one of the quarantine centres of the district and a group of three workers from Hyderabad who were experts in painting and whitewashing work thought of utilising their time to give back to the place where they had been taken care of so well.
After some persuasion, they got permission from the authorities and painted the entire school in vibrant colours. TOI had reported about their good deed in April.
The PM said it gave him the idea about a vast number of skillful workers who have gone back to their roots. So, why not give them an opportunity to choose the profession of their liking in their villages themselves, he said. “Their nationalist feeling and skill gave me an idea to do something good for them and thus this scheme was born,” the PM aded. UP’s 31 districts are part of the scheme. Unnao is one of them.
Quarantined on April 22 at Narayanpur Primary school after coming from Hyderabad, Vinod, Arun and Kamlesh were feeling odd with the schedule of just eating and sleeping. So, they asked the village head if they could utilise their time in some activity. But they were denied perission as engaging them in any task would have meant violation of quarantine rules.
“Then one day, they offered to paint the school building where they were staying. Since it didn’t require going out, I allowed them and provided the necessary raw material,” said village head Raju Yadav. His initiative now has brought some good news for Unnao which has of late been making headlines for wrong reasons.
“After a long time, I saw Unnao making headlines for a good reason. Though we have mentioned their contribution in a wall writing outside the school but the village committee will be felicitating the three after the PM formally acknowledged it,” Yadav stated.
Vinod, of Nawazkheda area in Narayanpur village, is a happy man after the PM’s reference. “His appreciation is a medal in itself. The better part is that it became an inspiration for a big step towards the well-being of faceless migrant workers who otherwise don’t even get a look,” said the worker who earns through small-time contracts to run his family of five in the village. He came back to Narayanpur after working for 17 years as a construction worker in Hyderabad.
Stating that the story gave a role model, village development officer, Dhirendra Rawat said: “I remember that the whitewash and wall painting activity was already planned for the school building but had missed the schedule on account of the lockdown. So, when they offered we agreed and they also finished the work quickly.”
Senior officers of the division are impressed. Lucknow division commissioner Mukesh Meshram said: “Instead of sulking over the trying times they came up with a constructive solution that benefited the society at large. And now the PM’s mention has sealed the model. It is encouraging for all of us.”