School children walk miles to school amidst thick jungle and fear of wild animals
Mysuru/Mysore: Continuing his series of overnight village school stays, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar is scheduled to stay at Pachchedoddi Government Primary School this evening. The school is located at Chamarajanagar district and is on the fringes of forest.
The Minister, who usually hits headlines due to his simplicity, had earlier stayed in a cowshed belonging to a party worker Kapilesh at Alamburmunti in Nanjangud during his role as a BJP party ‘Vistarak’ to study the mindset of the party workers and political scenario in Mysuru ahead of 2018 Assembly Polls.
Suresh Kumar is scheduled to arrive at Pachchedoddi village at 6.30 pm and will interact with students and parents. He will try to understand the education scenario in border districts at a time when the influence of other State languages is high on Kannada language students who study in border schools. Chamarajanagar shares border with Tamil Nadu and Kerala where Tamil and Malayalam are the respective State languages.
Pachchedoddi village is over 15 kilometres from Hanur town in Chamarajanagar and the only link road to this village is not asphalted. It is a village on the fringes of forest and there are over 60 houses. Over 200 people live in the village.
This will be the Minister’s third village school stay and earlier he had stayed at Government Primary School in Achammanahalli village, Pavagada taluk in Tumakuru district and at Government Higher Primary School in Gopinatham of Chamarajanagar district.
Pachchedoddi village has no basic facilities and school children have to walk miles to reach the school. Officials said that the village school was chosen by Suresh Kumar after the plight of villagers and children came to light. The village has the Primary School and students have to depend on Ajjipura, Kanchalli and Ramapura for High School education.
Fear of wild animals
While those villagers who have two-wheelers drop their children to schools, most of the children walk amidst thick jungles constantly amidst fear of wild animals, especially elephant herds that roam on the fringes.
Owing to the Minister’s stay, the School is being painted and swept and for a change, toilets are being cleaned. The official machinery has camped in the village to ensure that the Minister does not face any inconvenience.
Wild animal attacks are frequent phenomena in the village and villagers are not cultivating crops for the fear of destruction by elephants. Most of the villagers depend on domesticated animals including bovines, poultry and goat-sheep rearing. Some earn a living through manual labour.
But as the forest area has been declared protected wildlife sanctuary, villagers are not allowed to graze animals inside the forest. Cases are booked against villagers by Forest Department for entering the forests.
Commenting on his overnight stays at schools, Suresh Kumar had earlier said that the stay in schools helped him interact with children and their parents in a relaxed atmosphere and would help him know the ground realities.