Indian Army in the first week of November 2016 launched ‘Operation School Chalo’ in South Kashmir. The operation is aimed at providing students with free coaching after their regular education system was interrupted by spiraling violence, protests by militants and their supporters triggered by the encounter killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The operation closely follows its predecessor, ‘Operation calm down’, which was aimed at clearing off the anti-social elements from the valley.
About Operation School Chalo.
Spearheaded by Major General Ashok Narula, General Officer-in-Command of ‘Victor Force’, the Army under this operation is working out a plan for providing education to students. The plan includes:
• Identifying areas such as undamaged school buildings and community houses where the activities can be carried out safely.
• Identifying teachers in the localities and urging them to hold classes.
• Convincing parents to send their children to make-shift classrooms to study.
Apart from this, the Army also started ‘Naujawan Club’, which gives the youth a chance to display their strengths in extra-curricular activities and various sport games.
Significance of the operation
• The education system in the valley has come to a virtual standstill as apart from one school, ‘Army Goodwill School’ at Pahalgam, all others have remained shut ever since violence peaked on 9 July 2016 following Burhan Wani’s encounter.
• The situation has only worsened with the burning down of 31 schools by miscreants.
• Operation School Chalo aims at re-establishing normalcy in the students’ life and distancing them from anti-social activities and elements.
In spite of the unrest, General Narula’s plan of restoring normalcy in education sector has gained popularity in the valley. The first big success of the operation has been a village in remote South Kashmir- Rainpora, where the arm troops have been successful in convincing parents to send their children to study. Two local teachers have volunteered to impart them education.
Who was Burhan Wani?
• Burhan Muzaffar Wani was the commander of Indian Kashmir’s largest rebel group- Hizbul Mujahideen.
• Born in Dadsara village to Muzaffar Wani, a village headmaster, Burhan fled his home at the age of 15.
• He was killed in an encounter with the Indian Army troops on 8 July 2016.
• Considered a martyr in Kashmir, Burhan’s death has triggered heavy violence in the valley, leading to the killing of more than 70 people and injury of over 7000 civilians and 4000 security personnel.