This student rides piggyback on his mother to school

Jayalakshmamma carrying her son to school in Chitradurga district.

Jayalakshmamma carrying her son to school in Chitradurga district.   | Photo Credit: By Special Arrangement


The 14-year-old physically-challenged boy is determined to continue studying while his village has no high school or public transport; Education Dept has now promised an autorickshaw for transport

Jayalakshmamma’s routine on four out of seven days in a week is carrying her physically challenged son Rajesh Babu to school four kilometres away, waiting for the school hours to end, and bringing him home in the evening. The remaining three days, he skips classes, while she goes out to work as a daily wager.

The widow, in her forties, says that her village, Rangavvanahalli of Challakere taluk of Chitradurga district, has no high school or public transport. Her son, the eldest of her three, cannot walk because his legs are paralysed waist down.

Babu was keen on continuing studying after he finished class 7 last year at the government primary school in his village. She had no other option but to admit him in class 8 in a private school in Meerasabihalli. And she has been carrying him to the school and back, ever since June when classes started.

About 35 students go to Meerasabihalli to study from this village. Ms. Jayalakshmamma does not want to put her son in a hostel. “He cannot even go to the toilet on his own. How can I send him to a hostel?” she asks. Other children either stay in hostels or walk to the school, go on their bicycles. Some parents who have two-wheelers drop them off every day. They say that travel is difficult during rainy days.

Help finally

Moved by the plight of the woman and her 14-year-old son, Deputy Director of Public Instruction K. Ravishankar Reddy has now promised to arrange for an autorickshaw to pick him up from the house and drop him back from school.

On Saturday, officials of the Directorate for the Welfare of Disabled visited the house of Ms. Jayalakshmamma and gave a tricycle to help him move within the village, and a hearing aid too as he also some problem in hearing.

He told The Hindu that he has also recommended to the government to increase the disability pension from ₹500 to ₹1,400 per month, treating this as a special case, given the boy’s determination to study and the effort the mother is putting in to make it possible.

“I told Babu to stop studying after Class 7 but he would not listen,” says Jayalakshmamma. “He even gave up food for three days, refusing to drop out.”

Babu dreams of studying to be a graduate. “I will study and get a government job. Then I can look after my mother and two brothers.” He is glad that he will soon get an auto to go to school. “I don’t like sitting on my mother’s shoulder to go to school,” he says.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 6:11:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/this-student-rides-piggyback-on-his-mother-to-school/article30123837.ece

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