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Jharkhand Boarding Schools Turn Milk Vendors Due to Fund Shortage After Pandemic Halted Classes

Representative image.

Representative image.

After classes didn't reopen in July, the school was advised by several alumni to sell the milk who were ready to buy them. School authorities say they have been supplying milk to around 70 families in the city and hope to do so even after the pandemic.

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Buzz Staff

There has been a lot of going back and forth about schools reopening after the lockdown. While some states have restarted selected classes with scaled back attendance and precautionary measures, some boarding schools in Jharkhand have been facing a different dilemma during the pandemic.

These schools, some of the biggest and reputed in the state have their own cows and horses, which are kept for milk supply and riding lessons respectively. The cost of taking care of these animals have been taking a toll on the school's funds recently. As such, the schools have found an innovative way to handle the fund shortage, selling the surplus milk to residents in Ranchi and surrounding areas, a report in Hindustan Times said.

Vikas Vidyalaya, one of the oldest boarding school in the state is spread across 175 acres and 300 students stay there. They maintained 120 cows which yield 350 litres of milk but they lost 7 of them due to shortage of good fodder when the lockdown initially set.

The school principal PS Kalra told HT that as the cost of maintaining the animals is not less, they have resorted to selling the milk. Earlier they had also started by making vedic bilona Ghee from the milk, thinking classes will reopen soon. One kilogram of the ghee is yielded from 45-50 litres of milk. The ghee is sold at Rs1700 for every kilo.

But after classes didn't reopen in July, the school was advised by several alumni to sell the milk who were ready to buy them. School authorities say they have been supplying milk to around 70 families in the city and hope to do so even after the pandemic because it is surplus milk production and has helped them manage the cost to a certain extent as well.

The school also reportedly faced issues with getting good fodder supply for the animals during lockdown and the prices also had shot up.

Taurian World School is also going through a similar fate. With 65 cows and 15 horses, the school has more staff to take care of as the non-teaching staff who take care of the animals. The school has been selling the milk produce locally to tide over the shortage.

1,426 unaided private schools in the state have recently moved the high court challenging an earlier order that allowed them to only collect tuition fee from students during the pandemic when schools are shut down, the report said.

Vidya Vikas Samiti, which runs a chain of private schools in Jharjkhand and Bihar have also faced shortage but the losses have been fewer. The school authorities have now resorted to sellign the milk to sweetmeat stores to cover some of the costs.

The Jharkhand unit of Private Schools and Children Welfare Association (PSCWA) earlier this week had also written to Chief Minister Hemant Soren seeking exemptions in Covid guidelines for senior classes as their board exams will start in February next year.

Several states have been allowed to reopen schools in November while adhering to reduced capacity and immunity boosters.


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