'Neredu Bandha': How in this digital-age tribals take kids to school on horseback

The village with 12 families has 28 children, of which 15 are going to Z Jogampeta Elementary school.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  23 Jan 2023 5:48 AM GMT
Neredu Bandha: How in this digital-age tribals take kids to school on horseback

Visakhapatnam: Believe it or not, students of 'Neredu Bandha' village have to ride horses to reach the school in Alluri Seetharama Raju district. Around 15 children above 5 years are studying in a government school located 5 km away. Due to the lack of proper road connectivity, parents had to take their children on horses.

'Neredu Bandha' is a forest area located under the Cheemalapadu panchayat of Ravikamatam Mandal in Alluri Sitarama Raju district. This tribal village lacks a proper road, school, or healthcare facility. The village with 12 families has 28 children, of which 15 are going to Z Jogampeta Elementary school. The children were issued Aadhar cards in 2020.

"Under rules, the students should have 75% attendance to avail Amma Vodi scheme, which provides a school-going child's mother Rs 15,000 per year for educational expenditure. Students must walk 5 km in the hilly area to reach the school. The village has five horses. Parents take their children on the horses to school", said K Govinda Rao, honorary district president of AP Girijan Sangham 5th Schedule Sadhana Committee

Request for one school-one teacher

According to the villagers, there is always a threat of wild animals. Recently, locals were told to be alert against tigers. "We live near the G Madugula-Ravikamatham border area. Taking our children to school has become tough. No panchayat officer is responding to our request. We request one school and a teacher. We will take care of the school maintenance", said Dippala Appa Rao, a tribal villager of Neredu Bandha.

"Every election, government leaders make fake promises. After the elections, none of the ruling party members visit us. Even when they see us in the local offices, they try to ignore our requests", said Nereda Bandha, a villager.

Tribals laid their road:

The only dirt road in the village was completely damaged. The road was laid decades ago to transport bamboo to paper industries. However, the road was damaged, and only a motorcycle could enter with difficulty. A few weeks ago, the tribals restored the pathway so that two-wheelers and their horses could move.


Protest at the collectorate

Tribals have decided to stage a sit-in protest at the collectorate on January 25. "If steps are not taken to provide basic facilities, we will go on a padayatra from Neredu Bandha to Alluri Seetharama Raju district collector. We will also stage a protest at office premises," said the tribals.

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