A 17-year-old student from a remote backwater island in Kuttanad in Alappuzha district, Kerala, appeared for her 11th standard exam at Kanjiram in Kottayam district amid lockdown. Sandra Babu took a 70-seater boat and she was a solo passenger who appeared for exams in May during the pandemic. She goes to SNDP Higher Secondary School, Kanjiram. Her parents, Sabu and Radhamani, are daily wagers and were worried about their daughter not being able to get to the examination hall in lockdown.

Then, thanks to the Kerala State Water Transport Department, the 33km long backwaters gap was covered and Sandra appeared for exams on a boat as the only passenger. The boat not only dropped her, but also waited for her to finish the exams. And, it dropped her back home again.

Sandra comes from the backwaters which are far from the city and boats are the only means of transport in this region. She lives approximately seven kilometers away from the regular boat route. Earlier she was almost sure of missing her Physics and Chemistry examinations, News18.com reports. “I thought I would miss the examinations as I didn’t have the means to reach my school. But when I contacted the SWTD office, they understood my situation and promised to send a boat. I’m really proud of SWTD and I don’t know how to share my happiness,” Sandra told The Times of India.

Then, thanks to the Kerala State Water Transport Department, the 33km long backwaters gap was covered and Sandra appeared for exams on a boat as the only passenger.

What You Should Know

  • Due lockdown, the boat services had stopped in Alappuzha district, Kerala but the dates of the examination, postponed earlier, were announced again.
  • A 70-seater boat made a round trip from Alappuzha to Kottayam in Kerala, taking 17-year-old-girl Sandra Babu to the examination hall.
  • The boat waited for her to finish her examination and ferried her back home.

Braving the bad weather, Sandra reportedly paid a total fare of Rs 18 for a round trip. She was accompanied by the crew – the driver, a srank (navigator), a boat master and two lascars (for assisting the master in mooring).

Also Read: Bilaspur: 72-Year-Old Beggar Woman Donates Rice, Sarees & Cash To Needy

When I contacted the SWTD office, they understood my situation and promised to send a boat. I’m really proud of SWTD and I don’t know how to share my happiness.

Shaji V Nair, Director of KSWTD, supporting the decision said, “My daughter is also a plus one student. A ‘no’, in these cases, is much more safe and easy. However, I thought of how it would affect a person’s life. So the department approached the higher authorities and a nod from minister AK Saseendran, it was made possible,” News18.com reported.

Feature Image Credit: New Indian Express

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