Andhra Pradesh: Tribal children attend school sans 8-km trek

The Kondh tribals, inmates of the village, had earlier built a shed with funds from Matrubhumi Seva, an NGO, with the hope that the government would sanction the school.
Tribal children at the newly opened Sabari Girijana Vidyasram at Jajulabandha hilltop village in Koyyuru mandal in ASR district on Thursday. (Photo | Express)
Tribal children at the newly opened Sabari Girijana Vidyasram at Jajulabandha hilltop village in Koyyuru mandal in ASR district on Thursday. (Photo | Express)

VISAKHAPATNAM: The joy of tribal children knew no bounds as their dream of attending school turned into reality at Jajulabandha hilltop village in Koyyuru Mandal, Alluri Sitaramaraju district. The ecstatic students attended the school for the first time, which was inaugurated much to their joy here on Thursday.

The move came after adverse reports emerged of tribal children skipping school in another village to avoid 8-km trek on hilly terrain. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directed the State government to set up a school in the village. Owing to the intervention of the NHRC, a school was finally inaugurated.

The Kondh tribals, inmates of the village, had earlier built a shed with funds from Matrubhumi Seva, an NGO, with the hope that the government would sanction the school. The NGO also arranged books for the tribal children. However, the opening of the school was delayed. Following this, the tribal schoolchildren staged a novel protest by sitting on their knees with folded hands urging the authorities to appoint a teacher to run the school.

The NHRC took suo moto cognisance and directed the chief secretary to initiate measures to open a school. Responding to it, Anakapalle district Ravi Pathan Setti immediately took action and appointed a teacher and facilitated the opening of the school at Jajulabandha. A meal scheme was also launched at the school and students were given books and uniforms. Koyyuru mandal education officer PBVV Prasad inaugurated the primary school, which was christened as Sabari Girijana Vidyashram.

Speaking on the occasion, Prasad told the children to attend school regularly and get maximum benefit from it. Assuring that a pucca structure will be constructed soon, he advised the people to maintain the cleanliness of the classroom. Newly-appointed teacher Umamaheswar took the first class on the inaugural day. Chintapalle mandal education officer G Bodum Naidu, Girijana Sangham district honorary president K Govinda Rao, tribal village heads Kondatambali Venkatarao, Kondatambali Lakshmana Rao, and others were present. The villagers thanked the district collector and the NHRC for sanctioning schools in their village.

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