Some months ago, the local school of Panjarthirthi mentioned to Malar Trust India the needy condition of the children by the nearby Irula community, suggesting that the Trust start giving them some free school materials.
So it happened that we got in contact with the small Irula community, a group of families settled on a piece of land given by the local government.
The American association Save Int’l kindly offered us to share the building where they have been running their afternoon school for the dalit children of the same village, so we appointed an extra teacher for the Irula kids and organized a daily snack to encourage them to attend.
There are about 20 Irula and 20 Dalit children attending the Center, supervised by two teachers, one paid by us, the other by Save Int’l.
The main problem in this village is the absence of good means of transport: to reach the secondary school in Manampathi, the children have to walk for miles, this being the main reason for the high rate of dropouts after 5th standard. We recently bought a bicycle each for the two children that still want to attend school in spite of the distance.