Gadchiroli: A number of state-run Ashram schools in Naxal-infested Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra are in a poor state forcing students to live in unlivable conditions.
"The school having classes upto XII, with a strength of 509 students, has no sufficient classrooms hence the classes have to be conducted in the hostel rooms," said P S Wankhede, the headmaster of Korchi Tribal School located in the naxal hotbed adjoining Chattisgarh, underlining the grim scenario.
Korchi school in not an exception.
Children at Ashram schools in Kodgul and Gyarpatti tehsils in the district had no option but to live in dilapidated buildings in the absence of basic facilities and proper nutrition. Home Minister RR Patil doubles up as a guardian minister of this east Maharashtra district.
Wankhede told a delegation of local journalists, which visited these schools last week, that since there are not enough classrooms for students classes have to be conducted in hostel rooms.
"One class is held in the hall adjacent to kitchen. For such a huge strength of students there are only 3 bathrooms for girls and boys and 4 toilets. The students have not been given uniforms till now despite repeated reminders sent to the Tribal Development Department," he said.
At Kodgul Ashram school, spices used for cooking were found to be expired while vegetables procured for meals were rotting when the delegation visited it.
When asked about this, headmaster of the school HC Gowardhan said, "We use the material supplied by the contractor as it is.
Here also students are forced to drink water from a dugwell and had to go to nearby forest to relieve themselves. Of total eight teachers, only four were present and even the headmaster was not aware about the status of others.
"I will mark them absent," he said.
In Gyarapatti school, students are served only rice due to lack of floor mill in the village and nearby areas.
"When any student fall sick it becomes very diffucult for us to get them treated as a nearby public health center is around 14 km from here," headmaster Ganvir said.
The local Sarpanch Sangathana has threatened to launch an agitation against this mismanagement from October 15.
When contacted, district officials refused to comment.