GUWAHATI, May 24 � Poverty apart, the greatest difficulty that has been staring at the face of the young people like Dipika Bodo, Radha Upadhya and all the other school-going children in the Adinggiri Kalapani area is the uphill climb negotiating kutcha dilapidated roads to reach their respective schools.
Although places like Adinggiri, Kalapani etc., are located just on the outskirts of the capital city falling under ward five and seven respectively, these places seem very remote going by the development trend. Reaching these hilly areas is a herculean as well as a neck and back jerking task with no sign of a proper road.
Till date, the Kalapani LP School established in the year 1982 and located in the Kalapani Garo Gaon has no power supply. The school lacks the basic amenities like access to safe drinking water for the 120 pupils, most of whom belong to the minority community. According to the headmaster of the school Durlav Dev Sarma, the school authorities had undertaken a couple of initiatives to provide drinking water to the students including digging of a well but those efforts did not yield any fruitful result.
�We had spend around Rs 1 lakh for digging a well in this area that is a rocky terrain. But it did not bear any result, the more the well was dug, more boulders came out,� said Sarma observing that some alternative water source has to be sought.
It needs to be mentioned here that the school has a water purification system already installed, but water is yet to be supplied.
On the other hand, shortage of teaching staff has also hit the quality of education imparted to the children. Sarma said that apart from water and electricity, the other urgent requirement is appointment of a teacher.
The approach road to the school is kutcha and steep and on any rainy day the students have to miss their classes. As the road turns muddy and dangerous, around 50 per cent of the students stay back at home.
�There is a lot to be done here for improving the academic ambience. Most of the students hail from poor economic background and it is important for us to ensure that no external circumstance affects their education adversely,� said Sarma.
It is the same story of lack of basic infrastructure in another school, Adinggiri ME and High School that is also located atop and with a poor approach road that turns nightmarish during the rainy season. Established in the year 1996 and recognised in the year 2005, the Adinggiri ME School has around 92 students, five teachers and one non teaching staff. On the other hand, the Adinggiri High School was established in the year 2001 and recognised in the year 2010. It has at present around 60 students, nine teachers and two non teaching staff.
The parents of most of the students of this school work as daily wage earners. The students everyday climb up a stretch of around two to three kms to reach this school. There is no other government high school within a radius of five kms and the children have no other option but to climb up every day to reach the Adinggiri school, although it is in a very shabby condition.
"I want to complete my school education and attend college. So I don't mind climbing up almost three kms from home to my school everyday," said Radha Upadhya, a student of class IX.
Dipika Bodo�s father is a daily wage earner and she too is keen to complete school.
Problems galore for this school and the students are learning their lessons in classrooms without doors and windows and with tattered ceilings. However, these problems have not dampened the spirit of the students. With no other school nearby, they brave the uphill climb to reach school on time.
This school earlier had even no toilet facility for the students. World Vision, India's intervention resulted in construction of a toilet for the students. Umesh Kerketta, a functionary of World Vision, India said that the organisation had carried out a survey in the area to identify the immediate problems faced by the students in particular and the common people in general.
�We are continuing our communication with the people in these areas. After sorting out the most urgent requirements we will intervene with our support,� said Kerketta.