Published: 01st August 2022
Teachers, parents file plea to repair Anganwadi building in TN; recall Tirunelveli incident of 2021
The petitioners claim that the building is in a dilapidated condition and is suffering further damage due to rains
An Anganwadi building at the Manachanallur Panchayat Union Elementary School in Tiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu was in a bad condition and ready to collapse at any time, complained petitioners in a plea to the District Collector. A teacher, who wishes to be unnamed, said that the Anganwadi centre contained around 20 students and it is a dangerous situation for them as the building apparently has many cracks in and around it. Another block on the same premises has around 200 students.
The teacher added, "Due to the rain, we fear the damage might get intense as we can see water seeping through the building, which is wet constantly, and we don't know when it will collapse." Sources said the building was very close to the playground and the other block of the school. Since students play around in that place most of the time, it could be dangerous for them.
Another teacher from the school said that they were helpless when parents complained about the bad condition of the building. The school administration has complained about this to government officials but no action was taken. The teacher added that the Manachanallur Block Development Officer had earmarked the Anganwadi building for reconstruction after the 2021 Tirunelveli incident, which killed three students when a school wall collapsed on them.
B Rabyiatul Basheeriya, an activist, said that the reconstruction work has to be prioritised on the basis of the severity of the damage and added that the delay could cost many children's lives. She added that the 2021 incident remains a witness to the lethargic attitude of the officials and should prevent another such incident from taking place. Despite the visit of the district administration officials to the school four months ago, no further action has been taken, complain the parents.
An official from the Manachanallur Panchayat Union said, "The work was to be done by the town panchayat as they don't have sufficient funds," and added that the reconstruction work was already directed to the Town Panchayat. A top official in the Manachanallur Town Panchayat Office said they can only do the repair work with the funds given to them and the construction work has to be taken from the MLA fund or general fund and they have directed the school administration to arrange an alternative place for the children. The official added that the work regarding the anganwadi has to be done by the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). An official from the District Education Department said, "Work order for the reconstruction is not given." A petition was given to the Collector regarding the issue on Monday, August 1.