Mahalinga High School, Kalahandi : A gem in the making

Around 60 km away from the Mahakuma district headquarters, deep in the heart of tribal-dominated Golmunda block is Mahalinga High School. As the locals rely primarily on agriculture, mobility is a luxury they can’t afford and so, the area needed to have a school of its own to serve the needs of their children. As the adage goes— “necessity is the mother of invention,” and so, in 1980, a local farmer Chhabiraj Sahu initiated steps to establish the school. The school started with grades 9 and 10. With time and progress, it now imparts education to 406 students from grades 6 to 10, assisted by a total of 10 teachers.

The school has emerged as a success story of Mo School Abhiyan. So far, the school has received the highest grant among all the schools in the state which have been associated with Mo School Abhiyan. Donations to the tune of Rs 50 lakh 57 thousand have poured in from the alumni members and with the government’s matching 2x grant, the school now has a mammoth sum of more than Rs 1 crore to carry out developmental works.

However, it’s not a story of overnight success because the seeds were sown in 2018 when the then Headmaster of the school Sri Pramod Kumar Panda saw an opportunity for the school’s further development and initiated steps to get the institute associated with Mo School. In a meeting, alumni members were briefed about the aims and objectives of Mo School programme and its implementation. Everyone associated with the school, directly or indirectly, toiled day and night religiously and assured that the school excels on all fronts including infrastructure development and academic excellence.

In the first phase of the Mo School programme, furniture for teachers and students were purchased, while in the second phase, school gates, walls and toilets were constructed. The playground has been levelled and walled.

In the subsequent phases, classrooms will be renovated, electronic equipment will be purchased, walls will be repaired, toilets for students will be built, new classrooms will come up, computers and internet will be provided, pathways will be constructed, kitchen utensils will be procured and other modern-day utilities will be installed.

The locals, including the alumni, have been instrumental in the school’s success. Sri Govind Sahu, a former student and founder of Mahalinga Degree Science College in the area, and Sri Nidhi Patel, a well-known contractor, have been leading in the advancement of Mo School programme here. Sri Sahu has contributed the highest donation of Rs 5 lakh to his school.

“The school has made tremendous progress and has emerged as a major education hub in Kalahandi district today,” said Sri Rajesh Nayak, the current headmaster of Mahalinga High School. In addition to this, he said that the school has created a healthy atmosphere and the children have the opportunity to study in a conducive environment. He is “proud” to be a part of the school. “It is our dream to make it a model school of our State.” said an alumnus of the school.