It was a tough call for 54 migrant workers from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar to spend 14 days of their quarantine period without doing any work in Palsana village of Rajasthan's Sikar district.
So, to keep themselves engaged, they decided to paint the school building where they have been quarantined.
Redefining quarantine, they opted to change the look of the dilapidated quarantine centre, a government school building, by painting it afresh.
Many village youths extended their helping hands in this unique drive after watching the workers from different states putting fresh strokes of colors on the government school building. Soon the alumni of the school and the villagers collected money to buy more paint to give a facelift to the building.
"A quarantine center was set up in the village school amid the coronavirus pandemic, in which around 54 laborers were quarantined on April 18. We arranged for their food and water. After a few days, the laborers staying there told the villagers that they were hard-working people and couldn't sit idle without doing any task. The workers said they needed to do something at least to digest their food," said village sarpanch Roop Singh.
"They told us that since we were taking care of them, they needed to give something back to the village, and asked if they could clean up the school building," he added.
The workers sought permission from the sarpanch who approached the administration to get the necessary clearance.
Shankar Singh, Om Prakash and Ravi from Haryana suggested that they would like to paint the school building if they are provided with the required materials. The sarpanch then obtained permission from the administration and supplied the workers paints and brushes. They were joined by the school alumni and together they have finished painting a substantial part of the school verandah.
"The school was not whitewashed for the last nine years, and now it is wearing a different look. Surprisingly, these workers didn't accept any payment for their work," said Rajendra Meena, Principal of the Government Higher Secondary School, Palsana.
(With agency inputs).