President’s concern prompts Sanskrit school renovation

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By Mahesh Kumar Das Jaleshwor, June 24: The Rajkiya Sanskrit School (Gurukul) in Matihani, Mahottari is the oldest Sanskrit-teaching school in the country. And its building definitely represented that age. 

The roof was on the verge of collapse and needed to be held up by wooden beams, the plaster on the walls had cracked and peeled off and the paint had faded. The whole structure was in a heartbreakingly sorry state, as Principal Ishwori Prasad Poudel explained. “The nearly hundred-year-old building was in dire need of renovation,” he told The Rising Nepal. 

But it looked like that renovation would never happen, until President Bidya Devi Bhandari visited Matihani Municipality in November of last year.

She was in the area to inaugurate the sports stadium but she also visited the school and the Laxmi Narayan shrine. When at the school, President Bhandari expressed concern about its derelict condition.

“As the first Sanskrit school of the country, it has played a significant role in spreading the light of education in the country,” she said. “It is our duty and responsibility to preserve this centre of education where a great personality like Balaguru Shadananda also once studied.”

The head of the state expressing worry about the condition of the Gurukul seemingly pricked the related stakeholders and compelled them to act. And, less than seven months after the President’s visit, work on renovating the school’s building has now begun.

“The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning of Madhes Province provided Rs. 5 million for the renovation of the building,” Principal Poudel informed, adding that labourers were working day and night to carry out necessary repairs. The provincial government has allocated a budget of Rs. 20 million in the first phase for the repair and maintenance of the Gurukul.

Similarly, Rs. 3.6 million has also been allocated under the President Educational Reform Programme for the construction of a four-room concrete building.

“The teachers and students here are very happy about the interest and concern shown from all sides,” he added.

Mayor of Matihani Municipality Hari Prasad Mandal expressed his confidence that the school would receive a facelift thanks to the overwhelming support received. “Our collaboration with the provincial and federal governments for the protection of the Gurukul has started yielding results,” he said.

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