India’s first floating elementary school known as the Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur. The first-of-its-kind school aims to provide education to drop outs students as well as illiterate adults. The floating elementary school was opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO People Resources Development Association (PRDA). This floating elementary school aims at providing education to dropouts who became homeless during the recent evacuation of phumdis or circular floating swamps. Currently it will provide education to around 25 children from Class I-III by engaging two local teachers.
The school was established to arrest the sudden high dropout rate of children living in the Champu Khangpok floating villages who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis. More than 700 floating huts were removed by Loktak Development Authority as part of clearing encroachment in the lake under the Loktak Lake (Protection) Act 2006. It had resulted in displacement of the fishing community and their children who were forced to discontinue their education.
The Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. It is referred as the lifeline of Manipur and plays an important role in the economy of Manipur.