Odishatv Bureau

Nuapada: The future of at least 350 students has been pushed into darkness as water in the Lower Indra Irrigation Project will now submerge at least five schools in four villages of Nuapada district.

According to sources, 353 students of four project schools and an upper primary school at Konabira, Raghupalli, Sanabahali and Bodapadar have stopped going to their respective schools as these will be inundated due to the project.

Doli, a Class II student of the only school in Raghupalli village will not be able to continue her school as it is now closed because of the Irrigation Project.

"There is a school in another village but communication is difficult. I am sending her to her maternal uncle so that she can be enrolled into a school and continue her studies," Doli's mother, Prabhasini Patel.
54 other children of Raghupalli village have also stopped going to school and can be seen whiling away their time in the village lanes.

"I don't have any idea where to send my kid for studies. Our relatives are reluctant to keep him with them," Hira Patel, a parent.

Meanwhile the locals have refused to budge unless they are provided adequate compensation.

“We will neither leave the village nor allow the schools to shut down unless the government provides us alternatives and releases our compensation. We will resort to strike if our demands are not met," Ujwal Patel, a resident of Raghupalli village said.

"The future of these 353 students hangs in uncertainty. We will never allow the schools to be closed unless the administration compensates and provides us with alternatives to educate these children," threatened Nilakantha Pradhan, a local leader.

Meanwhile, Nuapada District Education Officer, Lakshman Bhoi informed, “We will discuss the matter with the district administration and have already written to State Government regarding the letter of Irrigation Department to close the schools so that alternative arrangements can be ensured.”