Kendrapara, May 16 (LocalWire): The devastating cyclone Fani damaged 427 educational institutions in Kendrapara district and schoolchildren are heartbroken to see the condition in which these buildings now stand.
Santosh Kar a class eight student of Baladevjew high school in Nasadipur village within Kendrapara town looks dejected staring at his school.
‘The cyclone damaged the asbestos roof of the school. Some locals converted our class rooms and verandas into temporary shelter for their cattle and goats,’ sighed the boy.
Teachers of the school said that the devastation was so thorough and widespread that classes will be delayed by six months.
Piles of debris including bricks, wood, concrete and broken household goods can be seen across the cyclone-ravaged areas even after 13 days of the gale.
In village Ramanagar, 13-year-old Chitaranjan Sahoo, with his parents and three siblings were seen rummaging through a pile of belongings that had been destroyed along with the house.
The structure was somehow partially intact.
‘I am looking for my school text books and pencils,’ said Chitaranjan.
The upper primary school building in village Tanar was completely damaged. ‘It could be months before affected children can get back to school.
This is both because of the impact of the cyclone on the families and on the school buildings,’ said the headmaster of a high school.
‘Many parents who have lost all their belongings and resources face the serious challenge of send their children back to school.
Children from cyclone-affected areas are facing many difficulties in their daily lives and many are on the verge of quitting schools as their families lost houses and crops and have no way od sustenance.
They even find it hard to get food everyday. Many students now want to quit studies so that they can help their parents by earning money to survive, said Damodar Dhal a retired school teacher of Rajkanika.
Sub- Collector collector of Kendrapara, Sanjay Mishra said, ‘The authorities will provide new books to students. Rebuilding schools and re-equipping them with teaching and learning material will cost crores of rupees.’
Kalpana Behera the District Education Officer (DEO) of Kendrapara said, ‘As per our survey, 427 schools were damaged in the cyclone. Our estimate of loss is around Rs seven crores.’