Kerala

Girl travels from Idukki to Bengal to continue her education

It was a missing person complaint filed at the Nedumkandam police station recently that led to the tracing a girl to Kheari village in the South Midnapur district of Bengal a few days ago.

Berayi, a 14-year-old child, had been missing from the estate lane of a cardamom plantation at Nedumkandam. Her parents filed a petition and a case was registered.

The girl had come to the State with her parents who are workers in a plantation during the school vacation back home. However, she could not go back when the school reopened. Though she had expressed her wish to go back to school and meet her friends, she was not allowed to do so. Then one day she was found missing, said the police.

With grandparents

A police team led by sub-inspector G. Ajayakumar and comprising officers Jobin Sebastian, Pradeep, Sereena Muhammed and Praseeda and translator H.G. Sudhakaran went to Kheari, where the girl was found living with her grandparents. She had started going to a local school. She was located with the help of the local police, Mr. Ajayakumar told The Hindu.

It was her strong will to return to school and continue her education that led her to travel over 2,000 km to reach her remote village.

How she traversed the distance? The girl told the police team that a family that was living on the lane adjacent to theirs was preparing to return to their native village. On knowing this, she informed them that she wanted to continue her education, and left along with them, without informing her parents. She had feared that they would prevent her from returning home.

Telephones parents

From the railway station in her district, she had to travel alone. She reached the house and telephoned her parents. It took over three days to reach her home where her grandparents lived.

Mr. Ajayakumar said that it was a remote village where the main occupation of the residents was farming and fishing. Men there got work only for a few days a month whereas women lacked employment. This forced the families to reach Kerala seeking work at the plantations, and during vacation children also joined them.

He said that the police identified such children in plantations and made arrangements to continue their education here. However, for children studying in Bengali and other language mediums back home, there is no arrangement to continue education. They know only little Hindi.

The girl was produced before the Nedumkandam magistrate online, he said, adding that arrangements were made at the school there to continue her education. Let her study and earn a good job in future, said Mr. Ajayakumar.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2022 7:24:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-long-trip-home-to-have-an-education/article65271037.ece