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Vikash Sharma

You might have come across several reports of schools in Odisha undergoing a massive transformation in the recent past, but can you believe that there is still a primary school in the state which runs from a temple premises? Sounds strange, but it's true.

It is now almost seven years that the primary school at Murkundi Dassahi in Salepur block of Cuttack district is operating from the complex of a Shiva temple. Such stop-gap arrangement has become the order of the day for the students as their school doesn’t have its own land.

Hence, the students are forced to attend the temple of learning from inside the Shiva temple premises bracing extreme weather conditions throughout the year.

“We cannot study here during the rainy season as all our books get wet. During summer also we face lot of problems due to heat,” said a student.

Another student alleged that their studies get disturbed during the festive season. Besides, there is always a threat from monkeys and other stray animals.

Headmaster of the school, Nrusingha Charan Das informed that the school started in 2015 with seven students. With the passage of time, the number of students has now reached 40 and 21 students have already completed their education till standard 5.

“Own infrastructure is a major hurdle. We had received Rs 6.90 lakh from Jagatsinghpur administration but we could not utilise the funds as we lacked own land. Subsequently, the fund was returned. We urge the officials to initiate measures so that the school gets its own building,” said Das.

Salepur Block Education Officer (BEO), Jagabandhu Satpathy said, “Funds were sanctioned for construction of building but as the school had no land, the funds could not be utilised. Now, we have received information that a land patta has been issued. We have written to the higher authorities for the construction of the school building.”

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