Aladangady ST girls' hostel model in every way

 If you want to call a hostel a model, here is one which has got some eligibility. The Scheduled Tribe Pre-Metric Girls’ Hostel at Aladangady, near Guruvayanakere, of Belthangady taluk, established under Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), can change the impression of public about government hostels with its facilities to poor children.

Though the hostel was started in a rented land at 1996, the new hostel was built in 1.25 acres of own land, in 1999.

The State government released Rs 25 lakh under model hostel scheme for extra study hall, toilet, bathroom, compound, store room and school ground. However, anyone would wonder by seeing the beautiful garden in front of the hostel that who might have brought up a flower garden in front of a government hostel, thanks to the self-interest of Hostel Superintendent Hemalatha.

“As we have a garden at home, I brought saplings of rose, hibiscus, other flowers and croton. To improve interest among children, the responsibility of maintenance is given to them. A small piece of land left for kitchen garden to grow vegetables and we will work on that after the monsoon,” she said. She was humble enough to remember the support of ITDP Project Co-ordinator Sabeer Ahmed Mulla, Sullia Social Welfare Officer Rajshekar who worked as SWO in Belthangady for four years and help of others.

The hostel provides facility to 50 ST girl students from Class VI to SSLC. They study either in Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School Badagakarandoor or in Government High School Aladangady, both are just three minute away from the hostel. The government gives Rs 900 to each student every month for boarding and food. Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited provides a kit which includes soaps, hair oil etc, every month. A kit of stationeries worth Rs 250 is also being provided to the kids once in a year.

The government spends Rs 400 for the uniforms of every student.

Tuition

‘Vyakthithva Manthana’ programmes are also being organised in the hostel, where special lectures would be organised by resource persons. For SSLC students, exam preparatory camps are conducted. “Tuition is being given to students from August to February, for six months. This year new syllabus is comparatively tough and we are planning to continue the tuition till March. We have already asked donors,” Hemalatha told Deccan Herald. 

Source of knowledge

Hemalatha has shown special interest in developing reading habit among girls with sophisticated reading room and library with good number of books. The walls of the hostel are filled with enlightening quotations. There are photos and information about national leaders, freedom fighters, ‘Jnana Peeta’ awardees etc. There is a notice board and newspaper stand for students. The hostel is also benefited with two solar street lights, four solar bulbs and inverter facility. 

Students speak 

The hostel has students from various districts including Chikmagalur, Shimoga etc. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Anusha of Mudigere, studying in SSLC said that she is proud about being in the hostel. “My parents work in coffee plantations for daily wage. They are happy as I could continue studies because of this hostel,” she said. Abhilasha of Dharmasthala has come from a big family of five children and her mother is the only earning source.

Abhilasha, who wants to be an engineer, wanted hostel facility to PU students in the same building. She was happy with training on English speaking and variety of food like egg, chicken, payasam etc which is being served to them.

Dressing room concept

Superintendent Hemalatha still has many proposals before the government to develop the hostel to new height. She wants an open stage and plans of forming blocks for study purpose. “We have plans to start Yoga class and computer education to girls. More books will be provided to the hostel library and library hour will be fixed for students. Computer system will also be provided in library,” she said. The dressing room concept, which is unique in pre-metric hostels in State, has been started in this hostel.

Usually, the hostels which are meant for Scheduled Tribes fail to reach them. But, here the Superintendent is following a novel idea to reach them by giving application forms with the students of the hostel who go on summer holidays.

“This helps to reach Malekudiya and Koraga communities who live in interior villages. This idea yielded fruit and this year we have received 14 applications (minimum eight). Out of 50 students, there are 27 ST students in the hostel,” she said.

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