47 students from riot-hit Manipur join school in Tiruvalla

Students and teachers of the school in Eruvellipra joined hands to accord a grand welcome to the new children.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

PATHANAMTHITTA: Shaking off nightmares of the ethnic violence that continues to plague their home state, 47 students from Manipur joined their new classmates at St Thomas Higher Secondary School in Pathanamthitta when it reopened after summer vacation on Monday.

Students and teachers of the school in Eruvellipra joined hands to accord a grand welcome to the new children. The new students were all smiles, perhaps a sign that they were no longer troubled by the memories of the turmoil that had forced their exit from the northeastern state.

Of the 47 students, all of whom hail from the Kuki tribe and are settled in Chandel – which was among the regions badly hit by the riots – 39 took admission to the higher secondary section, while eight joined upper primary section of the school.

The Malankara Catholic Church, which manages the school, will bear the education and accommodation expenses of the girl students from the lot until they complete their studies. The project, to allow children from Manipur resume studies in Kerala, is being spearheaded by Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, said Church officials.

Shaji Mathew, the headmaster, said the students were brought from Manipur to Pathanamthitta by Sathyam Ministries, a Christian organisation, with all the required documents.

“The children can speak English well. Hence, they won’t face any issue communicating with other students. Before joining, they appeared for examinations in subjects like English and Mathematics, conducted by the authorities concerned to assess their academic level,” Shaji said.

C V Vadavana, the director of Sathyam Ministries, facilitated the students’ travel to Kerala. They are staying in a children’s home. On the first day, the new students presented a traditional dance performance.

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