There are more than 45 schools in 17 thandas here. A majority of these schools is surrounded by belt shops, albeit in a disguised form. The problem is worse in single teacher schools and schools that have no access to the main road.

Belt shops in the tribal areas are spoiling the environs of schools in A. Kondur mandal of Krishna district.

Teachers, more particularly women, are working in the grip of fear in these schools. The situation is so bad that no teacher is willing to work in this area. Twelve posts are lying vacant here, teachers say.

There are more than 45 schools in 17 thandas here. A majority of these schools is surrounded by belt shops, albeit in a disguised form. The problem is worse in single teacher schools and schools that have no access to the main road.

Haven for bootleggers

Huts put up near the school look like a tea kiosk. A few look like tiny provision stores. But the shopkeepers do sell liquor, including country made arrack, causing inconvenience to students and staff working in the schools, say teachers on condition of anonymity.

None of the teachers working in this area is ready to go on record. “We fear for our lives from the liquor lobby. More so, the locals would not keep quiet if we speak out in this regard,” says a senior teacher working in the area.

The schools have become havens for bootleggers. The schools turn out to be open bars in the evening and during holidays as the shops are either adjacent to the school or closely located. “They throw bottles and plastic glasses and litter in the school. Every day we have to clean them up before the students arrive,” says another teacher.

Inebriated persons, autorickshaw drivers, and unwanted elements gather at the belt shops and create problems for schoolchildren, girls, and women. The street brawls are a regular phenomenon at the kiosks.

Teachers’ dilemma

Unloading of liquor is a distraction for students. “The situation is so bad that students began discussing about the brands. We cannot even chide them. The locals enter into verbal duel if we try to correct the students,” explains a woman teacher.