On Friday, the Secretariat gates witnessed an agitation of a different kind. The shrill shouts of scores of schoolchildren rent the air.

Children from the coastal belt of the city staged a dharna in protest against the alleged government move to close down schools in the coastal areas. The agitation was organised by Theeradesa Balavedi, the children's wing of the Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF).

KSMTF president T. Peter, who inaugurated the stir, urged the government to improve basic facilities in the coastal schools. The children raised slogans demanding fisheries residential schools for girls in all coastal districts in the State. They called upon the government to drop the move to close down schools.

KSMTF district secretary Anto Elias, Balavedi activists Drisya Varghese, Renju Robin, Anna Merlin, Vijin Francis and Karuna Fernandez and KSMTF leaders Pushparani Leen, Merina Thomas and Jeremy Roy also addressed the dharna.

The children also presented a street play titled ‘Pallikoodam'.