Six Attapady tribal children selected for Sainik School


Thiruvananthapuram, March 17: Scripting a new chapter in the tribal area of Kerala’s Attapady, infamous for alcoholism and malnutrition, six children from the region have been selected for admission to the prestigious Sainik school here, thanks to a project taken up by its alumni.

The 10-year-old tribal students will join Class VI when the academic session starts next year at the Kazhakootam Sainik School here, under the Defence Ministry. Sainik School Administrative Officer Lt Col B Girish Kumar said that the six students are in the list of selected students for admission for the coming academic year. They were part of the 15-member group of tribal children, who appeared for the All India Sainik School Entrance Examination. The six had qualified for admissions after clearing the interview and medical examinations.

Attapady, a 740 sq km area in Palakkad district on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, is a predominantly tribal area and until now had grabbed media attention for infant deaths and chronic malnutrition among children and alcoholism among men. The ‘Attapady project’ was taken up on an experimental basis by the 1991 batch of Sainik school students, as part of their silver jubilee celebrations. “We decided to do a social commitment project and train the children to undertake the examination”, Babu Mathew, a senior Researcher at CARSEL (Centre for Advanced Research in Socio Emotional learning), and an alumnus of 1991 batch of the school, said. Mathew said they were happy their effort had paid off.

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