BENGALURU: Students of Government Tamil Higher Primary School in Austin Town received a long-awaited gift on Wednesday afternoon — a small fitted with slides, seesaw and jungle gym.

All 85 students, studying in classes one to seven, earlier made do with a a small distance away from the school, to which they’d escape at every available opportunity.

The equipment was donated by on the occasion of its 150th year celebrations. The club, in association with People4people, a trust fund that sets up playgrounds for needy government schools, plans to develop playgrounds in 19 other schools. Fully equipped playgrounds are ready in six of these schools. Vimala A, in-charge headmistress of the Austin Town school, said the playground will help improving student attendance.

“Every time children were late for a class, they’d invariably be at the playground. Now, they come to school by 8.30am for classes that start at 9am and keep playing. We had been writing to several NGOs for many years but nothing had materialized. We were happy when this offer came through,” she said. Class 7 student Sandeep S, 12, said he was happy that his school now has these facilities.

Girish Punja, former president, Bangalore Club, said the idea to do something meaningful for the 150th anniversary came from members.

“We have decided to plant 6,500 trees, one for each of our 6,500 members. This will be done in two phases — near the airport and at Chikkaballapur. We have got permission from the forest department to set up solar-powered borewells in Nagarahole and Bannerghata national park which we will implement in the next few months,” he said. The trust has already set up playgrounds at 285 government schools in the city.

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