Students forced to fetch firewood in Kandhamal; sub-collector orders probe

Phulbani: The sub-collector of Kandhamal district Balram Mallick has ordered for a probe into allegations against teachers of a Sanskrit residential school at Kendupadar that they were sending students to forest to bring firewood.

The students of the school were also told that if they do not bring firewood from the forest, food will not be given to them. As a result, students were forced to venture into Sartaguda forest located two-km away from the school and fetch firewood.

Meanwhile, the Kandhamal sub-collector admonished the action of the teachers and said proper steps will be taken after the probe.

In the residential school, Class VI to X are taught and 400 students from different areas of the district are studying.

After getting the information, some mediapersons tried to contact the residential school’s manager Dhirendra Kumar Swain to find the veracity of the story. Swain said the students were never forced to go to the forest. As the Ganesh Puja is in this week, the students went into the forest to bring firewood. However, he said they will not be asked again in future to fetch firewood.

Though the government has made all kinds of arrangements for the students of the residential schools including free books, dress and bathrooms for their convenience, inmates of the Vidyapeeth are taking baths in Salunki river every day.
The Sanskrit Vidyapeeth has six teachers, one clerk and peon each.