In Kerala, Dalit students facing difficulties to get educated

By Aaliya Rushdi,,

Nilambur (Kerala): The Dalit Students of the area, who were sent to schools far away in the district, are returning back in groups to their homes. The parents, who are ignorant of the importance of education have not got any complaint on this matter.

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“There are 10 pre-metric residential schools for these students inside the District. Among these around 5 schools is situated at Nilambur where the population of the Dalits are found much. Among the five schools, 2 schools are for girls and 3 for boys. But as each hostel has only the capacity to hold 450 students at the maximum, they are forced to keep others out,” Says a teacher and Hostel warden at one of the school. Sometimes we will have to regret even the admission of girl students to the school as there are no hostel facilities for them. And so, some of the parents who know ‘something’ about education, or whose ward is eager to learn go out into the state in search of another school for their daughter.

Unfortunately, of the 5 other pre-metric hostels, only two are meant for girls. This leads to the negligence of education to many of the girls living in the Dalit colonies throughout the State. Thus, the Institution officials of one of the Boy’s hostel at Nilambur have made provision to open their hostel for the girls in the coming academic year. At present, there are 47 boys in this hostel. They are planned to move to any another boy’s hostel in the State. But, this still stands in confusion as all the hostels meant for Boys in the State are already congested filled up with boys over the limit.

The existing Hostels are also under many threats of survival. Even though one hostel has the capacity to hold only 150 students, each of the 10 hostels have students more than the limit. So also, neither the Government nor the officials are making any provision for increasing the facilities. In some hostels, the roof is broken in others no arrangements are made for giving adequate food to the children. In these hostels children are mostly deprived of all their needs. But, as they are childrens no complaints, no commands. The pre-metric boy’s hostel at Manimula is under the increasing threat of water shortage. Even though a well is situated at the courtyard of the hostel, there is no provision for drinking water. And the boys of the hostel have to go to the girls hostel for meeting their needs. But now, that well is also getting dried because of the fierce heat of the sun. And the students here are getting ready to go back to their homelands.

The people at home try to send their children anyhow to the hostel in the belief that they will get enough food and another facility in life. But, their fate is also the same. They have to suffer all the tortures. And it is only now that the outer world came to realise about this. “Here at Nilambur around 50 students are back from different hostels. As many of the elders, they are also ignorant of the value of Education and are busy playing enjoying a happy holiday. They don’t know of the dark future they are to face hereafter.”, says a Teacher at a Government School in the place.

The service of the organisation (Kerala Mahila Samakhya Society) KMSS meant to provide good opportunities for these students is also not successful. The society could not help to take back even one child among from those who came back to the homes. The society is expected to have used around 3 crore rupees for the welfare of the dalits, but no one knows the way they have used it.

The workers of this organisation claim that they are doing much for the welfare of this community. But, they complain that they Government have no interest in the case. And that they cannot move forward without the others opinion. “Moreover, the people of the community are to be made aware of education first and that is what we are doing now”, said a KMSS member.