Students’ tearful story ‘moves’ Kerala High Court.

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KOCHI: The very sight of the imposing Mullaperiyar Dam could send shivers down the spine of an onlooker, but natives of Mlamala, Idukki, have learnt to ignore it. For them, seeing off each day and night is more worrying, especially the ones that follow heavy rain. And when the High Court received a letter from three boys narrating the hardships, the court only found it moving, but decided to initiate suo motu proceedings based on it.

Class IX students Dion George, Greeshma Rajeev and Grace Mol Jojy of St Fathima High School, Mlamala sent the letter to Justice AM Shaffique, saying 800 students in their school and another 600 in two public schools nearby are facing hardships. The justice asked them to place the matter before the Chief Justice.

The students said transport facilities in their village are poor. The Santhipalam made across Periyar river by paving wild stones is the only way to connect with the outside world.

Children walk to school or on jeeps, which are minimal in number. After heavy rain, the land turns into small islands. Both ends of Santhipalam were destructed during the last two flood.

The students also listed the woes of Aiswarya, another Class IX student who is suffering from protein deficiency. Many other people in the village too suffer from diseases like cancer and kidney, neuro and genetic disorders. But they do not have proper treatment facilities in their area and have to travel more than 100km to reach Medical College Hospital, Kottayam.

The students said the villagers had approached the Centre and state government in the past, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.