FM Cariappa's decrepit school houses relief workers

FM Cariappa's decrepit school houses relief workers

The staff watch helplessly as rainwater leaks from the roof at the government junior college in Madikeri. DH Photo/B H Shivakumar

The roof and walls are leaking at the government junior college, the alma mater of Field Marshal K M Cariappa. But the dilapidated structure is playing host to several officials and personnel from Bengaluru, who are assisting in the flood relief work in the district.

Founded in 1855, the college, first called the central high school, has a rich past and Cariappa’s education there during 1907-1909 has added to its pride. But save the old building that stood from Cariappa’s time, all others built in recent years are in pathetic condition.

Leaking roofs and seepage through walls are a common sight in the junior college, where 541 first and second PU students study. “The old structure built during the British rule stands tall. But the new ones constructed three years ago get flooded even when there is light rainfall,” said a member of the college development committee (CDC).

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The leakage has affected electrical systems, which, in turn, has led to shortcircuiting of the computer hardware. Some of the students said they don’t get to use computers at all, while others were taking the help of their friends and relatives to do so.

Against the sanctioned strength of 21 lecturers, the college has seven, who multi-task. When DH visited the institution, the physics teacher was cleaning the lab.

The college rooms are also hosting several personnel from Bescom and BBMP.

“We sleep on benches at night. During the day, lecturers and students clean the classrooms,” a staffer said.

“We do not have lab attendants or housekeeping staff. We used to get Rs 40,000 per year for two staffers, after the government stopped hiring Group ‘D’ workers. The grant has been stopped in the last two years,” a CDC member said.

College principal Vijay P R said he had written to the pre-university board regarding the issues faced by the college. “Two lab rooms and four classrooms have been built. After the works are over, we will shift the students from rooms where the roofs are leaking.”

Students said the classrooms were built more than a year ago. “They are postponing the inauguration because of one or the other reason.”

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