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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
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Will Bijli And Pani Power Kejriwal Back To Delhi Durbar?

Ground Check: AAP has reinvented government schools and made healthcare accessible. What is the common man saying on Arvind Kejriwal's popular policies?

Will Bijli And Pani Power Kejriwal Back To Delhi Durbar?
Will Bijli And Pani Power Kejriwal Back To Delhi Durbar?
outlookindia.com
2019-12-07T12:18:42+05:30

Naresh Gupta, 46, is basking with his son outside his house in south Delhi’s Govindpuri. A ribbon of sunlight cuts through the otherwise damp, cold lane, painting the duo yellow in its stride. “I’ll put him in the School of Excellence at Kalkaji when he grows older,” he says. “It is very good, I’ve heard.” The self-­employed insurance advisor is all praise for the state education minister: “I keep listening to [Manish] Sisodiaji’s videos on Facebook. He does what he says.” Gupta is equally effusive about the AAP government—the water and electricity subsidies help him save Rs 3,000-3,500 a month.

Reforms in the education sector have been the flagship of the government’s programmes. It allocated 35 per cent of its budget—an unprecedented figure—to education this year, introduced edgy subjects such as happiness and entrepreneurship, and reinvigorated teacher trainings. Schools now hold parent-­teacher meetings regularly. Some government schools have buildings and facilities that can give private schools a run for their money.

Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in West Vinod Nagar is one such school. A stroll through its corridors reveals smart classrooms, computers and art labs. Motivational quotes by Dalai Lama and B.R. Ambedkar greet visitors. Students’ artwork adorn most of the walls. The school was also one of the first to set up a swimming pool. Three years ago, however, things were rather different. Like many government schools in Delhi, it had a dilapidated structure, dirty walls and few chairs or desks. “The school was in a sad state when I joined in 2013.  Half the students used to sit on the floor,” says principal Manju Shami. “With the AAP government’s focus on infrastructure, it took two years to rebuild. Now students from...

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