For this Kerala teen, knowledge will come with power

Eager to learn: The teen in her house without power in Mulanthuruthy panchayat.

Eager to learn: The teen in her house without power in Mulanthuruthy panchayat.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The long wait for educational classes on her television set is set to end for Khushbu.

The 15-year-old migrant student from Pulikamali in Mulanthuruthy panchayat along the eastern suburbs of Kochi, could join her more privileged peers by Friday to catch up educational programmes on TV.

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The television was received as a donation by the family from the panchayat to facilitate her remote education, but it was of no use as her rented house had no power connection. The teen has continued her studies, reading textbooks under candlelight in the night, and making the most of the day.

Decks have now been cleared to electrify her house after the panchayat and the District Child Welfare Council came forward to bear the expenses after The Hindu reported on her plight on Thursday.

“We got in touch with the panchayat and the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) authorities after the newspaper report came to our notice. We have agreed to meet all the expenses, including for electrification of her house, to aid hassle-free education of both the children in the family,” said K.S. Arun Kumar, vice-president, Ernakulam District Child Welfare Council.

Khushbu and her younger brother Abhay, a fifth standard student, were born and brought up in Kerala after their father Sudheer Kumar Sahu relocated here from his home State of Odisha 15 years ago. “The panchayat has agreed to contribute ₹3,000 and I am happy that the Child Welfare Council has agreed to bear the rest,” said Mr. Sahu who was earlier thinking of taking a loan.

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To get the power link, a post has to be erected to support the electrical line and KSEB produced an estimate of ₹16,300 as connectivity charges.

“At the time of donating the television, we weren’t aware that the house had no power connection. Though we approached the house owner, he wasn’t willing to bear the expenses saying that he was planning to demolish the building where the migrant family was staying. However, we told him that nothing can be done that hampered the children’s education,” said V.K. Venu, panchayat ward member. He said that the house would receive an electrical connection in all likelihood by Friday.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 5:08:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/for-this-kerala-teen-knowledge-will-come-with-power/article32034745.ece

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