The announcement of election dates turned out to be a blessing for a government school in Coimbatore district. A government middle school located in the Thadagam reserve forest area, a region populated by tribals, received an electricity connection after 17 years since the school has been notified as a polling booth.
The school is located in Anaikatti in Periyanaickenpalayam block in Coimbatore district and has 47 students who come from the nearby villages on the rolls, according to a report in The New Indian Express.
The school serves as the centre for education for children who hail from the three tribal hamlets – Chembukarai, Dhoomanur and Kattusalai – inside the Thadagam reserve forest. These three villages, with around 150 families, got electrified only in 2016.
Till the 2016 assembly elections, voters from these hamlets used to travel to Anaikatti, which is 11 kilometres away, to cast their vote. During the 2016 elections, the school was made a polling booth and electricity was arranged using a generator, which led to the interruption of power supply during voting. In order to avoid such a disruption again, the district administration has reportedly provided complete power supply to the school since Friday.
Speaking to TNIE, the headmaster of the school said that the school started functioning in 2002 and since then, it had not been given power supply. A few years later, an organisation had installed a solar power system, but it was not sufficient to power fans or lights during the rainy and winter season due to inadequate sunlight.
Though an electric post and connection had been provided to the school last year, there was no electricity supply due to metering and wiring issues. The school will now enjoy power supply round-the-clock and the village authorities hope that more students will come to school to study even if their houses do not have power.