While schools are the foundation of learning, the best learning outcomes require an environment that is comfortable and inspiring. However, for students and staff at the Zilla Parishad High School in Hythabad, even basic facilities were out of reach. They had to contend with damaged toilets, lack of access to drinking water, water seepage in classrooms, and a worn-out school building. Students were forced to sit on the floor since the school didn’t have benches and desks. Classrooms had damaged flooring and lacked lights and fans. Cooking took place in often unsanitary conditions.
Come the new academic year, the school will welcome students to a newly renovated premises with clean and safe toilets, a cooking shed, and cheerful, freshly painted classrooms. The renovation of the school, along with the establishment of a new oxygen generator in Maheshwaram – both in Telangana’s Rangareddy district – were completed by AWS InCommunities, a community engagement program that focuses on creating a positive impact in the regions where Amazon Web Services (AWS) operates. These new initiatives have been implemented in collaboration with Concern India Foundation, a leading non-profit, public charitable trust.
Sabitha Indra Reddy, Minister for Education, Telangana, who inaugurated the school facilities today recognised AWS for the community relief work and said, “Education and healthcare are key pillars that support the goals of all-round rural development and the creation of a sustainable society. The unprecedented situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic requires all sections of society, including corporates, to come together to tackle challenges such as gaps in schooling, and access to affordable and reliable healthcare. I would like to thank AWS for their help to build the rural infrastructure in Telangana.”
AWS InCommunities has been focused on implementing long-term community-focused programs in India since it commenced its initiatives in Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai district in 2018 and has increased this focus in Telangana’s Rangareddy district since 2020.
The key objective of AWS InCommunities programs in the Rangareddy district is to develop sustainable villages, supported by an improved local economy, essential infrastructure, market linkages, connectivity, and other necessary services. The major activities it has undertaken have been focused around strengthening the infrastructure of educational and health facilities and supporting community improvement and the environment through tree plantation and borewell recharge. It has also worked to build entrepreneurship awareness and opportunities among the community, along with providing critical support during the COVID-19 pandemic and generating livelihood.
Focusing on enhancing access to education, AWS has renovated the Zilla Parishad High School (ZPHS), Hythabad in the Shabad mandal (administrative division) of Rangareddy district, which attracts students from Hythabad and 15 neighbouring villages. This school was established in 1969 in the village of Hythabad and provides education for 323 students (174 girls and 149 boys) in grades six to ten with 15 teachers, and with Telugu and English as the medium of instruction.
AWS InCommunities consulted the school authorities to identify their needs to create a better learning environment for students. Based on discussions and technical assessment, the AWS InCommunities team undertook extensive civil and electrical works, plumbing, carpentry, and painting work. A water storage tank with 300 litres capacity and a water purifier have been installed to provide healthy water supply. The team also provided furniture such as benches, tables, and chairs.
Saji P.K., Director of Data Center Operations, Asia-Pacific Japan and China, AWS, said, “We are grateful to be able to play a role around improving access to education. More than 320 students from Hythabad and its neighbouring 15 villages can now learn and grow in a cleaner, safer, and more vibrant environment at the renovated Zilla Parishad High School, with access to appropriate classrooms, recreation, and sanitation facilities. We hope the school will go on to attract more students and enable quality education in its district.”
As part of its focus to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in the community, AWS has helped build a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technique* based oxygen generator at the Maheshwaram Community Health Center (CHC) in Rangareddy district, Telangana. The CHC provides healthcare including gynaecology, nephrology, pediatrics, and dental services to around 2,00,000 people from Kandakur, Yacharam, Mahehwaram, and Kalwakurti Mandals (administrative divisions). Every day, at least 150 patients avail outpatient department (OPD) services while 15 patients on average access nephrology care. The hospital is being developed into a 130-bed facility to make secondary and tertiary medical services easily accessible to nearby villages and cater to the growing population in the area.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, we began a comprehensive intervention that focused on upgrading existing facilities with healthcare essentials, as well as the construction of new infrastructure to fight the pandemic. As part of these efforts, we started the construction of two PSA oxygen plants in Rangareddy and Navi Mumbai districts. We are glad to be able to play a part and support our communities against the impact of the virus,” added Saji P.K.
The oxygen plant at the Maheshwaram CHC can generate 500 litres of oxygen per minute and support 90 – 100 beds daily. With the support of a changeover technology to the diesel generator power backup, the plant can be functional on a 24×7 basis.
The objective of the AWS InCommunities program is to make a difference, especially in regions where AWS builds and operates its global infrastructure. The initiatives under AWS InCommunities are focused on holistic community development, including the environment, people, and overall wellness. In addition to improving the infrastructure of educational facilities and health centers, AWS will also help improve the green cover and groundwater and deploy solar lighting. Enabling entrepreneurship skills for the community is also identified as a crucial intervention area in the future to help the community adapt to fast-changing socio-economic conditions.