Mangaluru: There have been a lot of cleanliness drives in the city conducted by various organisations and individuals. None, however, has been as unique as the one that was recently undertaken by the students of St. Theresa’s School and their parents.
Students of St. Theresa’s School (ICSE), Mangaluru and their parents, came together to combine beautification and public awareness through a beautiful collection of murals splashed across the school’s compound wall on Tuesday, October 2. This day being a government holiday, on occasion of birth anniversary of the ‘Father of our Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi, the students and parents got right on time to work at 7.30 AM and kept painting till 2.30 PM.
This beautification work was the initiative of Sujith Noronha, a traffic warden with the Mangaluru City Police, and his fellow members of the Traffic Management Team of St. Theresa’s School, consisting of 12 like-minded parents. This group has, for the last several years, been managing the traffic flow outside the school in collaboration with the Road Safety Patrol (students of the school who are in charge of managing traffic in front of the school).
It took a total of two days to complete the painting work. The whole process began around 15 days ago, when the parents in the Traffic Management Team brought in two professional hands to make sketches on the wall so it would be easier for the children and their parents to fill them in. During that day, some of the students involved with the RSP came out and helped complete some of the paintings. The rest of the work was completed today as it was a holiday. After the painting was complete, the professionals were brought in to make the finishing touches.
Speaking to NewsKarnataka, Sujith Noronha said, “This is an initiative taken by me, but I had a discussion with the other 12 parents of the St. Theresa’s School traffic management team and all of them agreed to it. We have contributed a lot to the project. We are also asking for some financial support from those parents who are willing to contribute.”
Elaborating on the project, Sujith said, “We have thought of doing one project for the school every month. The first project we did was planting saplings on the divider in front of the school. These plants are looked after by us and we water them daily after we do the morning duty. For the second project, we thought of beautifying the school campus. So we decided that before we do it inside the school campus we will start from outside. We started cleaning the walls on September 1 and painting the walls on September 3. After that, we thought we will give a message to the general public, parents and the students with regard to the traffic rules and regulations, global warming, saving the environment, saving the earth and other matters like a happy family and all those things.”
The murals were painted by students and the parents with the support of the school’s principal, Sr. Philomena Saldanha and the vice principal, Sr. Shanti Claire. “Twelve parents of students belonging to other schools also helped us. They saw what we were doing, stopped their vehicles and asked if they could help paint. Other members of the general public also helped by getting us water, juice and some things to eat. It was a very good gesture by the general public,” Sujith added.
When asked how much it cost to paint the murals, Sujith said, “This cost about Rs 12,000 or so, plus we have got two flex printouts which are there inside the school campus which is regarding the profile of a Bethany school teacher and profile of a Bethany school student. Totally we spent about Rs 20,000 for the entire project.”
Speaking about future projects, he said that the next project would be on the school campus. “We are planning to have some boards highlighted on the walls of the school with similar messages or those with regard to education. This project will be done in the month of November,” he added.
About the support from the school management, Sujith said, “It is superb. Whenever we approach the management with our ideas, they just give us the green signal. They come and support us. Today also, in spite of it being a holiday, the principal was here from 7.45 AM till 11.30 AM. The vice principal was also here. The management is very supportive. We want to do more projects for the school in the future.”
The principal, staff and students of the school are wholeheartedly supporting the traffic management team and are very happy with the work they are doing.
Principal of the school Sr. Philomena told NewsKarnataka, “I am proud of these parents who are coming forward and taking the initiative to do this. It is their initiative and I am only supporting them. They are an inspiration to our school. Every morning and evening, they control the traffic. They have also planted saplings on the divider and are looking after it. I hope other parents are also inspired by the work they are doing.”
Other parents from the traffic management team involved in the project are Manohar D’Silva, Diana Pinto, Jaison D’Souza, Shanthi D’Souza, Anjana Kamath, Yashwanth Rao, Roshni Tauro, Ozzy D’Souza, Dolcy D’Souza, Praveen K and Josmi D’Souza.