Loktak Lake in Manipur is the largest lake in the country. Now, the lake has been bestowed with another honor of hosting India’s first floating elementary school.
The ‘Floating Elementary School’ is designed to educate drop outs who have been homeless because of the recent evacuation of phumdis. It was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur.
“As most of us are uneducated and mostly depend upon on fishing as a meagre 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 initiated by All Loktak Lake Fishermen’s Union in collaboration with People Resources Development Association,” said Oinam Rajen Singh, a local.
Considering the level of success this program achieves, they are planning to expand their project. The classes will be increased to 8th standard so that more opportunities are given to the drop-outs.
The school has been opened under the All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO – People Resources Development Association (PRDA). The honorarium of the volunteers will be sanctioned by the PRDA, under the project called ‘Empowering vulnerable local communities for sustainable development’. The initiative is funded by Action Aid India.
The Loktak Lake has traditionally been the lifeline of Manipur. Apart from being the main water source for the locals living around, the lake has also been used for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The fishermen depend on it for their livelihoods. Lokta Lake is also an important bird area because of its breeding potential for migratory birds.