Kozhikode: Physically challenged boy Mohammed Azim's fight for a convenient educational institution near his house is still on. After his early pleas and protests failed, the Velimanna resident has commenced a long ride on wheelchair to press the government for securing his long-pending demand. The unique campaign will conclude in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, which is 380 km from his village Velimanna, after 40 days.
The protest rally was inaugurated by former Lokayuktha Justice K P Balachandran from the Velimanna School near here. The first day’s journey ended at Koduvally in Kozhikode district on Saturday.
Every day the rally will be on between 7am and 9am, and 4pm and 7pm. The team will travel through various districts and reach Thiruvananthapuram. Social activist Harris Raja is the captain of the rally.
Azim is protesting against the state government’s decision to appeal against a court order to upgrade his current Government Upper Primary School, 200 m away from his home at Omacherry Velimanna, to a high school.
The Congress-led UDF Government had upgraded a lower-primary school to upper-primary school for the benefit of Azim in 2015. Considering Azim’s commitment towards social causes, the government had also bestowed the ‘Ujjallabalyam’ award on him.
There is no high school in Velimanna and in four nearby panchayats, and the Kerala High Court had issued an order to convert the Velimanna UP school into a high school in June last year. But the state government appealed against the court ruling resulting in Azim losing an academic year. The decision to undertake this journey was undertaken after complaints lodged at different places did not yield any result.
People’s forum president P K Abdul Karim presided over the function on Saturday. Delhi Human Rights Foundation chairman Dr P C Achankunju, vice-chairman Dr Shahul Hamid and Noushad Thekkayil spoke before the wheelchair trip was flagged off.