Home / News / India /  Maharashtra: School dropuout ferries kids so that they don't miss education

A 19-year-old woman in the Thane district has decided to ferry students to schools so that they don't miss their education. According to a report by the Hindustan Times, Livemint's sister publication, Kanta Chintaman from Palatpada village was deprived of education as the closest school from her village was more than 80 minutes away and needed a crossing of a 1km long pond.

As a result, Chintaman dropped out of school in Class 9 as there were no boats to row her to school.

Now, she has bought a boat and started a free rowing service for all the children of her village to ensure that none of them quit education.

As per the daily, the Palatpada village is deprived of basic facilities. When she was in Class nine, there were only five to six boats that went to the school. Most of the time, these boats were missing.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, she said, "There was no road and the way to school was mucky. I also had to wade through water. After all this, I used to reach school late fully drenched. So, my teachers used to ask why I was late and wet daily. I finally quit, tired of the daily ordeals".

In Palatpada, merely 25 families reside and are dependent on agriculture and fishing for a living. She said that there are no schools and anganwadis in her village. The Usgaon pond is one of the sources of fishing business that helps the tribals sell fish in Ambadi and Ganesh Puri markets.

She stated that even those who are sick or pregnant have to be ferried on boats. Chintaman said she is the sole breadwinner of the family since her father passed away due to blood cancer.

"We had to ferry him on the boat for treatment. In the dark, it was not possible to cross the pond and return. There are snakes in the water and we are scared of them," she said.

As per the daily, there are 22 students in Palatpada village. The timing of the Primary school is 9 am to 1 pm while Secondary school timing is from 10 am to 5 pm. The woman said she has to make four rounds to ferry the students.

"After I had to drop out of school, I decided to help the children to ensure that they went to school every day and were not deprived of education. I have a boat and now use it to drop these children off to the village school and also bring them back home," she added.

Milind Kamble, a resident of the adjoining Ganeshpuri village who works at the health, told the daily that the villagers put their lives at risk to cross the pond. “They leave the village in the morning for work but fear crossing the pond after dark as there is no electricity," Kamble said.

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