Bonda teens undertake 5km hilltop trek daily to catch signal for online classes – Times of India

Bonda teens undertake 5km hilltop trek daily to catch signal for online classes - Times of India
BHUBANESWAR: Sheer willpower and the dedication to purchase an schooling have pushed two Bonda teenage ladies, residents of the distant Bonda hills of Malkangiri district, to stroll for 4-5 km daily to a hilltop close to their village for online classes. This hilltop is the one spot close to their village the place they get uninterrupted web connectivity.

Not solely do they undertake the lengthy journey day-after-day, Adibari Sisa and Manguli Muduli, each 17 and residents of Dumuripada village in Khairput block, have gotten their brothers to construct them a shed atop the hill to defend themselves from rain and warmth in the course of the classes.

Adibari and Manguli are each Plus II second-12 months college students of science on the Government SSD Higher Secondary School in Govindpally. Their faculty began providing online classes on July 13, after a trial run from July 10. Classes are held daily for an hour, besides on Sundays.

“Since July 13, we have been walking up the forested path to our hilltop classroom,” mentioned Adibari. Neither rain nor the scorching warmth has stopped them from enterprise this arduous trek day-after-day. Even the presence of snakes within the space hasn’t deterred them from the pursuit of schooling.

The faculty conducts classes on Google Meet. Different topics like physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, arithmetic, and English are taught over the six days of the week.

Adibari’s sister and mom pooled cash to purchase her a smartphone, whereas Manguli makes use of her brother’s for the classes. The ladies are notably fond of botany and zoology and wish to take up nursing as a profession. “We want to take care of patients,” mentioned Manguli, including that they have been conscious of Covid-19 and its implications. “It’s a pandemic and we have to frequently wash our hands, wear masks and maintain social distance to keep it at bay,” mentioned Adibari.

Principal Chaitanya Nali lauded the passion of the women. “Walking down a forested path on a sloping terrain to attend classes reflects their immense interest in their studies,” he mentioned. “After the school reopens, the students will have practical classes. We have already started preparing for this,” mentioned Ashok Kumar Swarnakar, junior lecturer in botany within the faculty.

The Bonda group, to which the women belong, is a very weak tribal group (PVTG). The Bonda hills of Malkangiri are house to 7,000 to 8,000 Bondas residing in 33 income villages and 5 hamlets underneath two panchayats.

“After the outbreak of the pandemic, the district administration carried out door-to-door thermal screening of the Bondas in villages that are accessible. All have tested negative,” mentioned block improvement officer of Khairaput Hruda Ranjan Sahoo.

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