Twelve-year-old Rithu likes the look of his new classroom. Set up on top of a small hill overlooking his village in O-Valley, Gudalur, he, along with a few of his friends trek to the new “classroom” – a temporary shed and one of the few spots where the kids have internet connectivity to download lessons.“It’s much more fun to study here than in our old classrooms,” says Rithu, a private school student in Gudalur, while downloading lessons sent by his teachers on a mobile messaging application. It may be fun for Rithu, but such learning involves risks too. “The area is known to be home to elephants and other wildlife. We make it a point to always go in groups and with an adult,” said one of his friends.Even college students too used the makeshift classroom every day, said K. Sakadevan, district secretary of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), and a local resident.Many tribal communities, including members of the Kurumbas and Paniyas, live in Periya Solai in O-Valley. Local residents said that a few days ago some of the children were chased by elephants, indicating the condition under which the students were learning.“Many of the people living in O-Valley do… Read full this story
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