PERAMBALUR: Schools have been closed for a year or so due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. But a bunch of students here have got a good reason to get back to their school -- watering the saplings they lovingly planted.
T Kalathur Government High School in Perambalur has 164 students and 12 teachers. In November 2019, English teacher B Pugazhendhi (29), besides teaching the subject, went a step ahead to educate students on the need to protect nature. Working towards his goal of turning the school into a green campus, he distributed saplings to students and initiated the plantation drive. To motivate students, he also set up fences and asked them to write their names on it.
However, the lockdown forced schools to shut down and take up online classes. Fearing that the saplings they planted might die, the students went to the school and watered them daily.
B Bharathipriya, a Class X student, said, "My house is near the school and to get some relaxation I come here daily and water the saplings I planted. Even after the school was closed, I watered them without fail. When I finish schooling, I will hand over the responsibility to my juniors."
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Pugazhendhi said, "During the lockdown, I created a WhatsApp group to coordinate with the students. They came in batches to water the saplings. Alumni offered vessels for the purpose." He noted that people were suffering without rain due to lack of trees and he took this step to help increase the green cover. He also thanked headmistress J Shoba for extending her support.
Shoba said that even when teachers were not there, the students voluntarily came to do their part. "It shows their interest and love for nature. Students wore masks and maintained physical distancing during the process," she added.