SUKKUR: Industrialists and NGO workers have joined hands to start classes for children in relief camps in Sukkur.
Hundreds of flood-affected children at the relief camp on Airport Road have resumed, and in many cases started, education under the watchful eye of 30-year-old Kausur Parveen binte Manzoor.
The camp, set up by the Sukkur Beverages company, shelters around 400 people. Kausur, resident of Ghari Khairo, stood out among the crowd. When the camp management approached her to teach young children at the camp, Kausur eagerly pounced on the opportunity to help. A brief interview and short test later, Kausur was appointed teacher.
“The floods left me and thousands others homeless,” she said, “Our lives’ worth of savings were destroyed.” But this opportunity to make a difference has brightened her up. “I’m so happy that I am able to educate others,” she said.
According to Kausur, who has completed her bachelors, the camp has flood survivors from Ghouspur, Karampur, Jacobabad and many other areas. Children from all across Sindh are filled with the desire to study, she said.
Classes are being held in a large tent. There might not be any chairs or tables but the management has provided carpets, books, blackboard and all required stationary. Students from class I to VIII are being taught for two hours from 8 am to 10 am and then again in the evening.
Kausur teaches them English, Urdu, Sindhi and Math. After regular classes, the children also have the choice to learn how to read the Quran. Various flood survivors at the camp volunteer at the ‘madrassah’.
Kausur’s father, Manzoor Baldi, said that he had worked hard to educate his children. “Even if it meant taking a loan,” he said. He is extremely proud of his daughter. “I just hope the floods recede from our area so we can go back to our homes,” he sighed.
Similarly, flood survivors at the IBA-run camp in Sukkur are also getting the chance to study. Classes are being conducted daily. IBA students come to camp after their own classes and help teach the flood survivors.
IDPs refuse to move out of schools
Students at government schools in Kotdiji, Kot Banglo, Hussainabad, Malir Pato, Faqeerabad, Nangreja, Talpur Road and Kanb have been unable to attend classes for more than a month as their campuses have been turned into relief camps. Orders by DCO Khairpur Muhammad Abbas Baloch to move the flood survivors to alternate locations and empty out the schools could not be implemented as the IDPs refused to move out. The IDPs claimed that they would not be able to get all the facilities they got here in other camps.
Representatives of various political and social organisations have also appealed to government officials to move the IDPs to proper relief camps outside the schools so that the students could go back to school but so far, no further initiative has been taken.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2010.