In a maiden initiative by the Rajasthan Education Department, the state education department will utilize MGNREGA funds to revamp playgrounds in government schools in the state .The Department has been granted special permission for the same.
Schools which categorically have playgrounds are entitled to these funds. The funds will be used for the upkeep and maintenance of playgrounds.
Rajasthan has 28,935 playgrounds in 67,484 schools, according to state government’s 2015-16 data. Rajasthan, has 10% of the total land area in the country.It houses some of the biggest government schools, sprawling across acres of land. In the districts of Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Pali and Sirohi, there are wide stretches of land. More interestingly,the state claims to have the highest number of grounds in the country.
The decision was taken with a crucial objective to create a proper and holistic environment for promoting sports and supporting sportspersons in the state. For the state, under representation of sports and its awareness has always been one of the major concerns,in today’s time.
While the state’s contribution of funds towards the project still remains unknown.However, as per MGNREGA rules are concerend, funds should be allocated in the 60:40 ratio for labourers and material, respectively, for a specific project. The education department will also have to contribute funds for the construction of boundary walls which requires nearly over 40% as construction material.
The construction work will be limited to levelling grounds, fencing, constructing boundary walls and planting trees. “This will help to groom students for sports such as cricket, volleyball, kabbadi, kho-kho and football. The state is ready to build infrastructure and facilities required to churn out international players,” said an education department official.
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had also shown his interest in implementing the project across the state, during his recent visit to Jaipur for a review meeting.
The state is also planning to hike daily allowance for sportsperson. A proposal for a ten-fold increase in daily allowance, which is presently Rs 30 is also likely to be passed soon.