(top)Sainik School campus, Chandrapur. (bottom)Fully-equipped auditorium in campus has seating capacity of 1,000. (Right) Brig (retd) S V Gaopande, who is heading the PMC team and also is Campus Commander, explaining the plan for Sainik School.
By Kartik Lokhande,
Sitting on his chair in a tin-shed, which is the temporary office of project management consultant (PMC) agency, Brig (retd) Sunil Gaopande is feeling the summer heat getting intense every passing day. At the same time, drops of sweat rolling down his temples is making him feel cool from within. For, a long-cherished dream -- of Chandrapur Sainik School -- is shaping up near Bhivkund on Chandrapur-Ballarpur road. “I feel really very happy. It is such a nice feeling to see the plans drawn on paper taking the form of beautiful structures. I can see the children donning their uniform marching, when I visit the site for the stadium. I can see the children engrossed in discussion as they walk towards the main academic building. The site of each of the structures in the sprawling 123.13 acres campus of Sainik School gives me a peep into the bright future when children from this region will make their distinctive mark in the Armed Forces and serve the country with pride,” Brig Gaopande enthusiastically tells ‘The Hitavada’. One instantly realises the emotional attachment this man has with the project. The pace at which the work is progressing reflects emotional engagement of the entire team. Also, the commitment of all the people involved with the project since beginning -- Lt Gen (now retd) R R Nimbhorkar; Sudhir Mungantiwar, Finance and Planning Minister; and the officials in the Central and State Governments -- is visible. The Sainik School coming up in Chandrapur is 29th in the country, and second in Maharashtra after Satara.
Sainik School is an institution that acts as a feeder source for the Indian Armed Forces. Many high-ranking officers in the military and police forces, movie stars, political leaders, administrators, and even successful entrepreneurs are products of Sainik Schools. As far as the Sainik School coming up in Chandrapur is concerned, it will have the best-in-class infrastructure. Brig S V Gaopande explains, there will be 60 buildings. Many of the buildings are nearing completion. The campus will have a well-equipped auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000. The main academic building, hostel buildings, shopping complex, mechanised laundry, sewage treatment plant, fire service station, four Army Exhibition halls, viewing tower, murals on the compound wall on both sides of the entrance gate, posh buildings with proper cladding, residential buildings for teaching and non-teaching staff etc are just some of the components of the project. Besides, as is the case with Sainik School, best-in-class sports and games facilities are being created for the students. “A special emphasis is given on horse riding, boxing, and swimming. For, these inculcate in students a confidence and makes their personalities dynamic,” Brig Gaopande says. The building that will house the horse stable is almost ready.
Gradually, well-bred horses will be brought there. Further, there is a parade ground and a stadium with seating capacity of 5,000. The campus will house two indoor stadiums with gun-aiming facilities, an Olympic-size swimming pool, two hockey grounds, a football ground, four basketball and volleyball courts, lawn tennis courts, etc. “It is coming up as one of the best Sainik Schools in the country. I am sure, those passing out from this school will add to the glory of the nation in whichever the profession they choose,” he adds. Already, the process for online submission of application forms has begun. The application process will continue till March 29. The admissions to the school will be for Class VI. Of a total 90 seats available, 15 per cent are reserved for Scheduled Castes and seven-and-a-half per cent for Scheduled Tribes. Of the remaining seats, 67 per cent are reserved for boys from Maharashtra and balance 33 per cent of seats will be open for boys from other States and Union Territories in the ratio of their male population. As many as 25 per cent of the seats are reserved for children of service personnel including ex-servicemen. About the Sainik Schools In 1960s V K Krishna Menon, the then Defence Minister, envisaged at least one Sainik School in each State to serve as feeders to the National Defence Academy (NDA). Another objective of creating a nation-wide chain of Sainik Schools was to bring about a change in education system from being a syllabus-examination oriented one to the one focussing on all-round development and enhancement of competitive skills of students. Sainik Schools are managed by Sainik Schools Society, which has a Board of Governors functioning under the chairmanship of Defence Minister.
An Executive Committee headed by Defence Secretary looks after regular functioning. Ministry of Defence provides the staff for Sainik School Cell. As far as local administration of the school is concerned, a Local Board of Administration chaired by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Command concerned in whose area the Sainik School is located. The entire capital expenditure on land and buildings of Sainik School is met by respective State Government. The respective State Government is also required to provide funds for maintenance of infrastructure and new infrastructure projects. Also, the State Government concerned awards scholarships on ‘merit-cum-means’ basis. Sainik School is fully residential facility on the lines of a public school. Though it has adopted CBSE pattern for academics, enrollment in National Cadet Corps (NCC) is compulsory upto Class XII.