Without roads, Vadodara students take boats to get to school

VADODARA: For most, organizing the transportation of school-age children may mean organizing a van, a rickshaw or a bus. But in this village, officials had to make arrangements for boats to take students to a government primary school. The village is actually an island located in the Panam in the Shehra taluka.

It is separated from the continent, since it was part of the area that entered the immersion of the Panam reservoir. Residents of the small plot of land refused to vacate it and have stayed here despite the difficulties.

The village has around 70 houses and a population of 250 to 300 people. There are 26 elementary students in the village, but there is no school. So they have to travel to the elementary school of the nearby Juna Mahelan village. Until recently, children traveled in private boats also used for fishing.

The children include 13 boys and 13 girls. Just as organizing road transport for other elementary school students who travel to a school from a distance, we organize their transportation by boat. I noticed the problem in 2017 and decided to solve it, said the resource block coordinator for the town, Dr. Kalpesh Parmar.

Parmar said the transport was part of a government plan, but Simlet was an exception in the boat arrangements. This year, too, when the academic year began, we organized two boats for the children, Parmar said. Parmar added that Rs 400 are provided per child each month for transportation. We took the consent of their parents and tied the two boats to take them to school, Parmar said. The boats were formally dismissed at a small event last month.

According to Parmar, students who study in class VI or higher can be admitted to residential schools. There was no such agreement for lower standards and, therefore, transportation was provided. Parmar added that two classrooms were being built in Simlet and once they went up, the children could study there.