Zilla-Parishad writes to Bratya Basu for books and funds for restoration work in flood-Ravaged areas
Biswabrata Goswami 
[email protected]
Tamluk, 25 October
More than 200 schools including SSK, MSK and Madrasah in East Midnapore have been seriously damaged in the recent floods caused by the heavy downpour and release of water from different dams leading to the closure of these schools for sustainable period of time.
As a result, around 50,000 students failed to go schools, are facing a crucial crisis to carry on with their studies, as most of them have lost their books in the devastating flood.
To contain the situation, the East Midnapore Zilla-Parishad has written a letter to the state education minister Mr Bratya Basu yesterday appealing him to make arrangement of about one lakh text books for different classes, as well as granting of fund for restoring damaged schools and educational infrastructures. “As about 50 secondary and higher secondary schools and 150 SSK, MSK and Madrasahs have been seriously damaged, it is of urgent necessity to make arrangement of 1 lakh test books for different classes and grants for restoring damaged schools in the flood ravaged blocks -Panskura, Tamluk and Nandakumar,” Mr Mahmud Hossain, siksha karmadhakshya of the zilla-parishad said.
Estimates of damaged schools are still coming in as many low-lying areas in three affected blocks are still submerged in the overflowing water of Kangsabati river.
The Chairman of East Midnapore Primary School Council, Mr Gopal Sahoo, issued an order today asking teachers of the closed schools to report to the sub-inspector of schools.
“About 150 schools were under water. In more than 50 of them, marooned villagers had taken shelter along with their cattle. I will write to the education department to declare official holidays for these schools for at least 10 to 12 days,” Mr Sahoo said.
Many teachers in East Midnapore expressed reservations about going to the sub-inspector of school&’s office to register their attendance.
The district magistrate of East Midnapore, Ms Antara Acharya, said she was “aware” of the problems the schools were facing and assured the local people to take up the matter with the government.
A senior education department official said, several schools in the affected area had suffered twice in quick successions this month because of floods. “I believe teachers will take extra classes and complete the syllabus.”
On the outskirts of Tamluk, Saleem Sheikh, 13, with his parents and three siblings, rummaged through a pile of destroyed belongings in their house.
The structure itself is badly damaged but still partially intact.
“I am looking for my school text books and pencils,” said Saleem, gazing at a few drenched, mud-stained pages in his hand. “If I can find even a few things I may be able to go back to school,”he said.
Saleem&’s father, Bakhtiar, who lost two cows, and his paddy and vegetable crops in the floods, told The Statesman, “I don’t think we will be able to send the children back to their school. It is impossible now to raise money for books and uniforms – and I need their help to work the land.”