India just opened the first school of its kind that floats proudly on Loktak Lake in Manipur. Manipur now becomes the home to a unique school that will be seen floating on the largest freshwater lake in the northeast, the Loktak Lake.
The floating elementary school aims at providing education to dropouts who became homeless during the recent evacuation of phumdis or circular floating swamps.
The school opened to the locals earlier this month and was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village. The school is part of the initiative by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union in association with an NGO called People Resources Development Association (PRDA).
The main source of income for the locals comes through fishing; the families weren’t able to send their children to schools elsewhere. Loktak Lake, which is known as the “Lifeline of Manipur” is home to many fishermen who work tirelessly day and night to catch fresh fish. It also is a source for hydropower generation, irrigation and potable water. The area is also an important body of water for avian wildlife.
The addition of the floating school was done in support of locals who live within the area that lacked proper education. With this new floating facility, families can send their children to attend classes nearby. The school that will accommodate 25 students and 2 teachers will teach both children and illiterate adults. The hope is to expand the classes and take them up to the eighth standard to help attract school dropouts.
The school has been well received by residents in the area. Oinam Rajen Singh, a villager said “As most of us are uneducated and mostly depend upon on fishing as a meager source of income, we are unable to send our children to school to another place. So, looking at the current scenario, we decided to set up a primary school here”.