As you enter Sevashram, a residential school for SC, ST students at Sipaiput in Odisha’s Koraput district, you are welcomed by the ‘prime minister’ — Binod Hontal of Class VII — of the school.

In a novel experiment, a five-member school Cabinet has ministers who takes care of sanitation, cleanliness, hygiene and other matters.

Thus, Manjula Mudagadia, a 13-year-old student, sees to it that toilets remain clean in her capacity as the ‘health and sanitation minister.’

‘Food minister’ Budu Pangi ensures that the kitchen is kept hygienic and the students are served food properly.The Cabinet, selected by students for a period of two years, was formed in July 2013. The idea to involve students in the upkeep of the school did not come randomly. It was mooted by the Odisha government and one teacher from each school underwent a four-day training. — PTI