RAIPUR: In the wake of persisting elephant menace, several schools in the affected Surajpur district, about 350 km north of Raipur, have been asked to close down one hour before the scheduled timing.
Many villages are bearing the burnt of rampaging jumbos in the region. The students and their parents are living under the shadow of consistent fear of moving pachyderms as the routine timing in most schools are from 9 am to 5 pm.
“The district education officer in Surajpur has issued an order for 76 schools to function till 3 pm only to enable the students reach their home safely before the sunset. There are around two dozen tuskers in the area creating an environment of terror among the local population. Many people have lost their lives. The days in the winter season being short, the wild elephants often venture on the roads and at times come close to the human habitat in villages,” a senior officer in Surajpur said.
Most of the students had earlier stated that they were scared of returning home after nightfall. The forest department has been ferrying the students in elephant-attack prone pockets of Dharampur, Singhra, Kerla, Daldali, Bagda and adjoining areas in their rapid action vehicles from the schools to their residences.