Schools reopen, Kodagu limps back to normal

MADIKERI: Schools reopened in Kodagu after a gap of 10 days on Thursday as the district took a big step towards regaining a semblance of normalcy after the massive destruction caused by unprecedented rain.

Attendance was expectedly thin in some schools like , one of many villages destroyed by landslides and flooding. With most inhabitants of the village housed in relief camps, only eight students attended classes on Thursday. The school has a total 51 students enrolled from Class 1 to Class 8.

Cleaning up classrooms posed one of the biggest challenges for staff and students. At Haleri village, all five teachers and two mid-day meal workers arrived early to get things in order and to welcome the students. The school was also flooded with relief material from donors and locals.More than 80 school-going children are staying at relief centres in Madapura and Suntikoppa. HR Raju, the school headmaster, revealed teachers called parents and asked them to send their children to school. “Many students are in relief centres while others said they don‘t have proper clothes,” he said.

Guruprasad, a resident of Makkandur, said both his children are at relief centres. “They have no books, no uniforms and no house to stay,” he said. “How can I send my children to school?”

Cleaning premises a big task

At Hosakote high school, teachers themselves cleaned the campus. “It was very dirty, so we cleaned it up with help from some students,” said a teacher.

The local higher primary school in Madalura, where more than 400 flood survivors stayed, remained closed on Thursday. “The flood survivors have been moved to Somwarpet,” said Annu, a local gram panchayat member. “But cleaning the school is a big task. All the locals joined hands to spruce up the school.”

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