Tension on the faces of Anjali and Ajita was palpable as they collected their flags on Saturday from officials from Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS). Also, their friends Atulya and Haripriya were among the three dozen children in the Palakkayam tribal colony celebrating the arrival of high-speed internet.
Thanks to JSS, many students from Palakkayam, Ambumala and Vettilakkolli tribal towns were introduced to online classes for the first time since COVID-19 led to the lockdown in March 2020.
Lack of internet had kept a large number of tribal students away from studies during the lockout. Some of them could barely remember the name of their school as the long vacation had almost erased their campus memories. As usual, their records with the government can be perfect. But their education has not progressed an inch since March 2020.
“Wow, we get 4G. This is amazing, ”Sandeep and Sunil said as they surfed the web on their phone. The children’s enthusiasm for getting the internet and tabs spilled over to their mothers as they demanded that everyone should get a tab each.
As many as 60 Lenovo tabs were hosted by PV Abdul Wahab, MP. The Wahab had adopted the Chaliyar panchayat under the centre’s Sansad Adarsh Grama Yojna scheme.
The condition of the children in the colonies of Ambumala and Vettilakkolli is even worse. Without proper road access to the colonies, dozens of families in the villages have almost lived a marooned life.
While the dual villages of Palakkayam have 36 families belonging to Muthuvan tribes and 16 belonging to Kattunaikar tribes, Ambumala and Vettilakkolli villages have 25 families of Paniya tribes. Vettilakkolli, with little access and hardly a safe house to protect them, is one of the worst in the state.
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