Parents worried by leaky roof, drenched walls of residential school for Scheduled Tribe children in Karnataka

Though the building is only 10 years old, it is in a pathetic condition, making it unsafe for children

Published - July 10, 2024 04:03 pm IST - Hagare (Hassan district)

The Valmiki Ashrama Shaale, a school meant for children of tribal communities, in Belur taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka.

The Valmiki Ashrama Shaale, a school meant for children of tribal communities, in Belur taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka. | Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

Students of the Valmiki Ashrama Shaale at Hagare in Belur taluk of Karnataka are a miserable lot during the monsoon because of a leaking roof, wet floor, and drenched walls that intensify the cold.

Thanks to poor waterproofing of the roof, the walls become wet during rains. The ceiling of the roof is peeling off, exposing the quality of construction. The children and staff get through the monsoon hoping that no wall collapses.

When The Hindu visited the residential school, which is meant for children of tribal communities, earlier this week, three of the nine classrooms were locked. The staff said the classrooms remain closed as the cement plastering has been peeling off. Staff do not hold classes in those three rooms to protect students from any untoward incident.

Walls of Valmiki Ashrama Shaale at Hagare, in Belur taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka, get wet during rains. Students and their parents are worried that the walls may collapse any time.

Walls of Valmiki Ashrama Shaale at Hagare, in Belur taluk of Hassan district in Karnataka, get wet during rains. Students and their parents are worried that the walls may collapse any time. | Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

The staff of Valmiki Ashrama Shaale at Hagare in Belur taluk have locked three classrooms as the cement on the ceiling is peeling off.

The staff of Valmiki Ashrama Shaale at Hagare in Belur taluk have locked three classrooms as the cement on the ceiling is peeling off. | Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

The poor water-proofing of the structure has led to leaking from the roof of Valmiki Ashrama Shaale.

The poor water-proofing of the structure has led to leaking from the roof of Valmiki Ashrama Shaale. | Photo Credit: Sathish G.T.

During the rains, the floors in the kitchen and dining hall turn slippery, as the roof is leaking. The staff spread gunny bags and water containers to prevent the floor from getting wet.

The residential school was functioning in a rented building before shifting to a new building on November 10, 2014. The school is meant for students from classes 1 to 5, and has 120 students, Including children of Hakki-Pikki and Shillekyata tribal communities settled at Angadihalli in Belur taluk of Hassan district.

Where did the money go?

Hooraja, a leader of the Hakki-Pikki community, said that the government of Karnataka sanctioned over ₹4 crore in three instalments for the school in the last 10 years.

“It is only a 10-year-old building. However, the present condition of the structure reveals how poorly it was built. The waterproofing of the ceiling is substandard. Within a short period, the ceiling started peeling off. I am worried about the safety of children in the school. My grandchildren are enrolled there,” said Hooraja, who is a member of Hassan district vigilance and monitoring committee of the SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

In the financial year 2023–24, the Social Welfare Department spent about ₹1 crore to raise the compound wall, construct a toilet complex, beautify the garden, and install play equipment. The school had sought funds for repairs, which was not sanctioned.

Officials informed

“We have informed senior officers about the condition of the rooms and the structure. We are taking care of children with the existing resources,” said R. Priyadarshini, the headmistress and warden of the school.

The staff comprise two guest teachers, two cooks, two assistants, and a night watchman are in the school. The government has provided quarters for the staff on the campus.

The headmistress is the only permanent member of the staff in the school. The rest are hired through outsourcing agencies. . The government has provided quarters for the staff on the campus.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.