India’s first floating elementary school in Manipur to render education to homeless

India’s first floating elementary school in Manipur to render education to homeless

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India's first floating elementary school in Manipur to render education to homeless

The largest freshwater lake in the country, Loktak lake has now become home to the first of its kind loktak floating elementary school.

Situated about 50 km from Imphal, the school has been inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur.

Loktak lake: ‘Lifeline of Manipur’

The Loktak Lake is referred as the “lifeline of Manipur” as it is highly productive and many lives depend on the lake for endurance. The lake is also an Important Bird Area as it’s a potential breeding site for waterfowl and is a staging site for migratory birds.

This ancient lake serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. It is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman who lives in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”.

School aims to provide education to dropout students and illiterate adults

Now, the Loktak Lake has added another feather to its cap by supporting the first of its kind floating elementary school. The school was recently inaugurated at the Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur. It aims to provide education to dropout students, who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis.

The school has been opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO – People Resources Development Association (PRDA). The school will not only cater to the need of the children but to illiterate adults as well, and will accommodate 25 students and two teachers from the community.

The honorarium of the volunteers will be sanctioned by the PRDA, under the project called ‘Empowering vulnerable local communities for sustainable development’, which is funded by Action Aid India.

Views of a local

“As most of us are uneducated and mostly depend upon on fishing as a meagre source of income, we are unable to send our children to school to another place. So, looking at the current scenario, we decided to set up a primary school here initiated by All Loktak Lake Fishermen’s Union in collaboration with People Resources Development Association,” said Oinam Rajen Singh, a local.

“Once the programme is successful and provides quality education to students, we will expand our project and increase the classes as well. Based on India govt. drive on free education to all, we will increase the class up to 8th standard so that opportunities are also given to the drop-out students,” he added.

It is worth mentioning that the Loktak Development Authority had removed more than 700 floating huts as part of clearing the lake after the introduction of Loktak Lake (Protection) Act 2006.