Tribal school in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram at risk of attacks from wild animals, school staff says authorities are being unhelpful

The herd of elephants was spotted on November 18 by two Parents Teachers Association members who live near the school. They saw the elephants near the school in the early hours of the day
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: PTI
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: PTI

Wild elephants destroyed trees that were very close to a tribal school in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram district. However, such high risks from wildlife are not new to the students as they have been facing threats from wild animals, including bison, elephants and wild boar for many years now. The Thalathoothakaavu Tribal School staff have attempted to resolve the issue but fall victim to red-tapism on part of the authorities. They have now warned of a protest if authorities are not cooperative. Around 28 tribal students from eleven tribal settlement areas are enrolled in the school.

A teacher from the school, Jain P,  told the Times of India, "The elephants have destroyed the coconut trees in the compound. I am sure that the herd will come again for the coconuts. We have been trying to build the compound wall around the school, but the forest range office has denied our request. We are planning to talk to the Palode range office authorities again. If they are not ready to grant the permission, then we would surely stage a protest in front of the office."  The forest department officials have reportedly denied permissions for the compound wall saying the school authorities failed to produce the required documents.

Commenting on the worrisome situation, the school's Headmaster, Asharaf M, reportedly said,  “The students are not safe in this compound. The parents are really scared to send their children to school." The school had earlier even suspended classes fearing wild animals. The daily reported that the herd of elephants was spotted on November 18 by two Parents Teachers Association members, Mahesh and Suresh, who live near the school. They saw the elephants near the school in the early hours of the day.
 

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