Hostel In Birikote
Our school is in a village named Birikote, 60 miles far away from Berhampur, the nearest city and railway station. It takes nearly 5 hours by bus to reach the area. There are very few long-route buses and the school is nearly one mile from the bus route. The population here is mainly composed of Harijan and Adivasi tribes. They are very poor, illiterate farmers. The Adivasi have very little land and the Harijans have none at all. They live hand to mouth and when there is no work they find it difficult to have even one meal a day.
The parish is made up of 52 villages with a population of 6,200 catholic families. Both tribes are living in interior places in far villages surrounded by very high mountains, rocky hills and very thick forests. Their living conditions are very unhealthy and unhygienic and there are no facilities for sanitation, drinking water or electricity. To reach these villages it is necessary to walk 3 to 4 hours across mountains and jungles. Only a few villages have a school, so most of the children have no chance to get a proper education.
With the help of the Sisters of Charity we have opened a hostel for the downtrodden girls who are longing to go to school. At present there are 58 girls who are studying in different classes from 1st to 9th grades. Since these girls are very behind in their studies, we have appointed a teacher for private tuition after the school hours and during free time. The hostel also employs a helper and a cook.