KOZHIKODE: Some 'architects' among the nearly 150 tribal inhabitants of Chalakkayam colony in Chaliyar grama panchayat made a bridge with bamboo and other materials to connect themselves to the outside world five years ago. Nearly 15 children going to the Idivanna Estate School and the plantation workers depend on this bridge. The three colonies, Palakkayam, Vettilakkolli and Ambumala have cultural links and they encourage marriages among the inhabitants, said Prof Varughese Mathew, principal of Kaithappoyil LISA college, who worked in these colonies as a programme officer of NSS wing of Malabar Christian College.
“The colony got electrification during our work four years ago when we took up the case to the High Court. Now the inhabitants need the immediate attention of the Scheduled Tribe department, as it is risky to use the bamboo bridge,” said Prof Mathew. The bridge has no handrail and the people have to balance themselves while crossing it. Vehicles belonging to the Gothra Sarathi come till the bridge to pick the children from the colony. After crossing the bridge, the tribals can reach the forest office at Mooleppadam. The jeeps take then to the nearby town of Nilambur.