‘I am not scared’ – ‘I have no problems’

Government colleges in Sulkakulampur district, a district in the southern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, have reopened after being closed for nearly a month due to a deadly flare-up in the town.

The government first-grade college for female students, which has opened on March 1, has seen a spike in students taking up the courses amid an outbreak of the coronavirus, which is spreading across the country and killing at least 1,200 people.

Srikakuls primary school has also seen an increase in enrolment, said Srinivas Kumar, dean of Srikarajah government school in Srinagar.

Srinivas told Reuters that enrolment had been a high point for the school, with the majority of students from low-income families.

“We have a huge number of students.

But the majority from families of less than Rs.2,000 have been able to go to Srikaks school,” he said.”

The majority of them have come from lower-middle income families,” he added.

“Most of the people in our community are from families that do not have money.

They come for the chance to study.”

The college, which was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in September 2016, has since seen an explosion in enrolments and has now recorded over 1,500 students.

The number of enrolments has risen from 532 in September last year to 1,250 in February.

“All these numbers are going up and I am confident that we will continue to see a lot of students coming here,” Srinival Kumar, vice-chancellor of Sulkarajahs school, told Reuters.

“Our school has been doing good for us and we are confident that the government will support us.

We are just waiting for the government to lift the suspension on the colleges.”

Government schools for female learners in the region were closed in the aftermath of the Srikaku outbreak, and students were moved to government schools in Jammu.

However, Srinivans school reopened in April and has seen no student drops in the absence of a pandemic.