Demolished by Maoists, five schools reopen in Chhattisgarh after 13 years
Maoists had demolished the schools when they attacked tribals in 2006 in Jagargunda area to protest against the government-promoted local tribal militia Salwa Judum.Updated: Jul 01, 2019 19:14 IST
Thirteen years after Maoists demolished five schools in Chhattisgarh’s Jagargunda village, the state government has reopened them much to the delight of local children.
“We are very happy to be enrolled here in our own village. Now, we can live with our parents and study,” said Telma Hadma (14), who used to study in Dornapal Ashram School, about 50 km from Jagargunda in the Maoist hotbed of Bastar. Jagargunda, about 450 km south of the capital Raipur, is now a fully protected village.
The five schools re-opened last week after being completely rebuilt. Maoists had demolished the schools when they attacked tribals in 2006 in Jagargunda area to protest against the government-promoted local tribal militia Salwa Judum.
Around 1,200 tribal families from 20 villages were settled in Jagargunda, the biggest settlement by the state government in Chhattisgarh. The government stocks ration and other essentials in the settlement once in three months and provides around the clock security cover.
Vijay Jaiswal, a teacher at the school, said 240 children have taken admission in the five schools that re-opened last week. Earlier, he used to teach a few tribals kids in a temporary school. “This is sign of peace in the core Maoist area of Bastar,” Jaiswal said, adding that the government has posted 32 teachers for these five schools.
“After Salwa Judum most of the residents of nearby villages came to live in Jagargunda camp. Now, the schools have started and things are getting normal. The kids who were studying about 50-60 kms away are now enrolled in the village itself,” said Suresh Kumar Pondi, ward member of Jagargunda village pancahyat.
Chandan Kumar, collector Sukma, said: “Two hundred and forty students have taken admission from primary to 12th level and we are trying to provide them quality education. It is just a beginning and more facilities will be provided in coming days.” He said the administration will soon start government schools in nearby villages also.
But while the schools have opened, there are no health facilities for 3,000 residents of the settlement. Kumar said a five-bed community health centre and a sub-tehsil office will be operational at Jagargunda from next week.
The villagers are happy that the schools have reopened. “After Salwa Judum our kids used to study in other towns far away from us. But now I cannot express the way I feeling as my kids will now be able to live with me and study,” says Durjan Singh Nag, a resident of Jagargunda village.