The Tripura School Education Department launched a ‘School boat’ service to ferry poor students living on the islands of Dumbur Lake in Gumati district to their school for free.

Poor children residing on the islands of Dumbur Lake often find it difficult to reach school, as they do not have the means to pay for boat ride fare. During monsoon, it becomes near impossible for the students to reach school through water bodies. Taking into consideration their hardships, the school education department on Saturday flagged off a ‘school boat’ to ferry students from their residence to school free of cost.

Dumbur Lake surrounded by 48 islands is 120 km away from the state capital and fishing is the main source of income of people living in these islands. “Dakmura Gumati Senior Basic School has 100 students but attendance is low due to communication bottleneck. Around 50 students come from various islands of Dumbur Lake and they often fail to attend school as they can’t afford to bear the travelling expense as the boat is the only means of communication,” Chandni Chandran, State Project Director (SPD) of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan told PTI on Sunday.

“It was the Block Project Coordinator (BPC) who conceptualized the plan for the school boat for poor tribal students. We just lent help by releasing ₹ 1.20 lakh under Samagra Shika Abhiyan which focuses on output-based education,” Ms Chandran, who flagged off the first-ever school boat in the presence of students and their guardians, said.

“This is a small amount but will have a big impact as far as education is concerned. I am fortunate to open such an innovative initiative for the students who are downtrodden and need education,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha praised the innovative idea of introducing a school boat for poor tribal students of a school in Gumati district’s Karbook subdivision. “First-ever ‘school boat’ was dedicated to serving the students residing in the enchanting islands of the breathtaking Dumbur Lake”, Mr Saha said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

While appreciating the initiative, he said, “A big round of applause and appreciation to the indomitable spirit of Block Project Coordinator (BPC) Karbook RD Block, Damodhar Tripura who turned this remarkable idea into a reality”. “With the introduction of this innovative initiative, we are ensuring that no student is left behind in their pursuit of education,” the Chief Minister said, adding the commitment to providing equal opportunities for every child remains steadfast and unwavering.

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