Extent of devastation at schools moves relief workers


Schools ravaged by floods resembled graveyards of creative works of young children, teachers said. "It's really heart-breaking," said Sajoy George, a teacher, engaged in rehabilitation work in a Government school at Moothakunnam in Paravoor.

George, the Ernakulam district project officer of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), said teaching and learning material were found strewn apart in class rooms hit by fury of the flood. "We've lost everything in the muddy water, including creative works of our children, their library and digital classrooms set by the government to impart them modern education," he said.

Around 117 schools in North Paravoor and Aluva in Ernakulam district were the worst hit by the floods.

Service books of the teachers and non-teaching staff also found lost in many of these schools, officials said.

Top Education department officials said rehabilitation was being done on a war footing in the schools by teachers, non-teaching staff, officials of SSA and volunteers, aided by the local administration, to get them ready by August 29 when children return after the Onam holidays.

CRPF personnel engaging rehabilitation works in some villages in Thrissur district said they too came across some moments which made them emotional.

A CRPF official heading rehabilitation work in Kuzhur gram panchayat said tears welled up in the eyes of a man, M V Jose, when their personnel handed over Rs 1,640 they had retrieved from the debris in his flood-hit home.

"The money was not damaged. On handing over the cash, he became inconsolable and started crying," he said.

"That was the only money he had saved. It seems to have been part of certain hard earned amount that he saved for Onam celebrations. We felt extremely sad and speechless. Somehow we managed to console him. Tough times indeed,"the official said.

He said while cleaning the houses, CRPF personnel had found a lot of gold ornaments left there by people who ran for their lives when flood waters started gushing in. "House owners were obviously elated finding them at their ravaged houses," the officer said.

The death toll due in the floods has touched 302 since August 8.

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