As the students of flood affected areas of Kerala are set to go to schools from Wednesday, an idea from a Kozhikode-based NGO is garnering the support and attention of the public now. As per the plans by Incubation, students who have lost their notebooks in the recent Kerala floods will be provided handwritten notebooks across the state. A call made by the members of the NGO, was responded by people from all walk of life, including elderly, professionals, and students.
Nabeel Mohammed A.R, who heads the NGO Incubation, was travelling from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam for collecting the handwritten notebooks from the southern districts of the state when we contacted him, told NDTV that his organisation has collected more than 10,000 handwritten notebooks so far.
For another call from the NGO, for notebooks and other stationary for the students, it has collected more than 15,000 blank notebooks and as much as stationary items.
Volunteers preparing handwritten notebooks for the students in Kerala's flood affected areas
"We will start distributing the books from tomorrow. Books for the students of southern region will be distributed from Ernakulam, while distribution for northern districts will be operated from Kozhikode," Mr Nabeel told NDTV.
The handwritten notebooks which are prepared under the instructions of the NGO will be provided to students from Classes 5 to 10.
"We could have given PDF copy of their notes who have lost their note books as a matter of ease and comfort in the work. However, from a psychological vantage point, the students who are studying in upper primary and senior secondary are not socialized with such practice," says Sayyid Sameer associated with the NGO.
Incubation officials accepting notebooks from volunteers
"And more importantly the students have lost their notebooks and it is very important to give them what they have lost instead of a PDF document or a photocopy of the notebooks," he added.
The origin of the idea is from the school going children of Ansar Women's Orphanage, Malappuram where the NGO has been running regular coaching to improve the quality of their studies as a part of its social extension programme for the past 3 years.
While the volunteers visited the orphanage, the girls' students suggested notebook collection and note writing of different subjects as a contribution from their side to the flood affected counterparts from the state.
A volunteer preparing handwritten notebooks for the students in Kerala's flood affected areas
"We took that idea of the students as a campaign - which was named 'Together we can' - to social media and then it inspired people across the country," said Sayyid Shaheer of the NGO.
Now, the 'Together we can' campaign has inspired people from several parts of the country and volunteers from Hyderabad, Aligarh Muslim University, National Law University Delhi, Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi, Pondicherry University and Pune have sent handwritten notebooks.
"We held meeting with Educational Officer of different districts. They have been highly appreciable of this campaign and have extended all possible supports to our initiative", added Mr Shaheer.
A volunteer handing over a handwritten notebook for the students in Kerala's flood affected areas to Incubation
Incubation is engaged in education related activities for the four years and working mostly in the northern part of the state.
Meanwhile, soiled books, smashed furniture, damaged equipment and rooms and corridors filled with slush tugged at the heart strings of volunteers, officials and armed forces personnel at flood-hit schools they went to clean in flood affected areas.
Many schools ravaged by floods resembled graveyards of creative works of young children, teachers told Press Trust of India.
Incubation officials accepting notebooks from a volunteer
"It's really heart-breaking," said Sajoy George, a teacher, engaged in rehabilitation work in a government school at Moothakunnam in Paravoor.
George, the Ernakulam district project officer of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), said teaching and learning material were found strewn apart in class rooms hit by fury of the flood.
"We've lost everything in the muddy water, including creative works of our children, their library and digital classrooms set by the government to impart them modern education," he said.
Service books of the teachers and non-teaching staff also found lost in many of these schools, officials said.
Top Education department officials said rehabilitation was being done on a war footing in the schools by teachers, non-teaching staff, officials of SSA and volunteers, aided by the local administration, to get them ready by August 29 when children return after the Onam holidays.
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