Gandhinagar: Jamiyatpura, a village just 14 kilometers off the chief minister’s office in Gandhinagar was in the news about two years ago; when the state’s smart school project was first implemented in the primary school here. Cut to 2018, the ‘smart school’ now lies in shambles. Students study inside the crumbling building fearing for their lives every day. Irony laughs at the face of this village, as one would be surprised to find out that the whole village is covered under CCTV camera surveillance, but it still doesn’t have state transport bus connectivity. Jamiyatpura, a village that had attempted to reign in development with their own efforts, now lies in a state of neglect as the government didn’t provide the necessary backing it required to become a model village in the state.

When Anandiben Patel had taken over the reins of the governance of Gujarat from the then CM Narendra Modi after his thumping win in the 2014 general elections, Jamiyatpura was the first village visited by her. She was accompanied by the district collector and other officials, who had lauded the efforts of the village towards development. The children were taught with smart-learning tools and technology in the government primary school.

Today, the dilapidated school building, built in 1910, is a disaster waiting to happen. The plasters in the walls have come off and the metal rods can be seen popping out of the cemented beam. The gram panchayat had made a representation to the government regarding this issue four years ago and the administration had passed an order to pull down the old building to construct a new one in its place. Students from class one to eight study in this school and every classroom has a smart-learning system installed in it. Chetanji Thakor, the son of the village sarpanch tells us that his father has made numerous representations to the government and tried to draw their attention towards the dangerous conditions under which the students are studying. He urged the administration to make alternative arrangements for the children until the new building is built. But all of them have fallen on deaf ears so far.

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