Most of the villagers are involved in the cultivation of betel leaves, areca nut, black pepper, honey, and have home grown trees for mango, jackfruit, and cashews. Some have 10-12 rubber trees too. Most of the family members earn between Rs. 200 and Rs. 300 per day. The living conditions are bad and there are severe electricity outages.
Moreover, there are only 3 primary schools, 3 middle schools, 1 High school, and 1 Higher Secondary school. From the schools, the students must travel to Pechiparai, which is the nearest village, approximately 11kms away from the nearest hamlet, and the longest route being 30kms.
Despite all this hard work to get their education, most of the children end up following the footsteps of their parents and tend to become daily wage earners. The primary reason is the lack of a continuum of quality education. There are many dedicated teachers in these Government schools who travel almost 25 to 30kms to teach the children, but the children have difficulty to travel to the schools because poor transportation facilities, and lack of safety during commute. Moreover, the evenings get very dark as it is a dense forest and the roads and pathways are without electricity and lighting during most of the days.
So how can we help?
Lebara Foundation is a not for profit organisation in India, with a unique presence in this geographical area for interventions. We have been working in this neighbourhood for the past three years with 431 children, providing after-school tuition support. We also encourage children to be more proactive, to build interpersonal skills, and to gain self-confidence through children’s club activities. About 15 solar lanterns have been provided to the 16 tuition centres and a 5.1 KV solar plant was installed in Alamparai Tribal School. Our areas of work are Mothiramalai, Killikonam, Pechiparai, Valiayamalai, Mangamalai, Mudavanpottai, Thathchamalai, Kuttiyar, Puravilai, Villusarimalai, Mookaraikal, Thottamalai, Koduthuraimalai, Alamparai, Koruvarkuri, and Antipottai.
There is a strong need to deepen the positive impact by providing solar lanterns for each of the children so that they can commute in safety to the centres, study even when there are frequent electricity outages, and use solar lanterns inside their homes too and each solar lantern costs Rs 1850/- .
What is more important to the villagers, despite all the hardship and with limited opportunities for employment, is that their children love to learn and are sincere, and their parents continue to send them with dedication to school and our centres.