Those who own bicycles bear the brunt of the workload
Students of Alagapuram Government High School have a lot to do other than concentrate on their studies. They have to literally earn their daily noon meal through physical labour: they have to bring to the school the government-provided noon meal cooked at a place far away from the school.
Specifically, students who own bicycles bear the brunt.
During school hours, they are assigned the task of transporting the noon meal cooked on the premises of a Panchayat Union elementary school at Alagapuram, located nearly a km away from their high school at Reddipatti.
One group of students pushes the bicycle and the other, along with noon meal workers, holds the vessels from shaking or falling off. Not a morsel of rice or other dishes shall spill out of the vessels.
The residents of the area say this is a routine affair. They see students pushing their cycles loaded with big utensils containing the cooked meals.
According to a teacher this has been the practice ever since the school was bifurcated, with one school (Classes I to V) functioning near Alagapuram Temple.
It is here that the meal is being cooked for about 500 students, including 185 of them in the elementary section.
The other school at Reddipatti consists of Classes VI to X. Adequate space for preparing noon meal is not available in the school at Reddipatti.
Hence, the cooking is being done in the elementary school.
The teacher admits that this is hard on the students, but there is no option now.