The morning routines in almost all cities across the country are similar. The morning air might allure you with the smell of boiling cha (tea) and you will get to see sleepy children dressed in their school uniform going waiting with their parents to get a bus ride to school or maybe sleeping in the car when their parents take them to school. You may even see some walk the distance or take a cycle. However, the story is not similar everywhere.
Children from Assam’s Dalgaon district have to swim across the river or use banana stems to float like a raft to reach the school and surprisingly this is now their routine. As the district does not have any bridge to cross the river, the students have to brave the small river everyday to reach their school which is on the other end of the bank. The student of Kachomari Primary School either swim or use the banana stem to cross the river. In some cases, if the children are too young to cross the rivers on the precarious raft, their parents would carry them on their shoulders and cross the water body, reported NDTV.
The worst is that the school compound remains inundated most of the year, and the reason behind it is the lack of proper drainage system. While talking to ANI, one of the social workers from the region narrated the ordeal of the children. He said, “There is about 1 to 1.5 feet of rain-water accumulated in the school itself. To come to school, students have to cross a 40-45 feet wide river as there is no bridge.”
“Students either swim across the river or are carried on shoulder by their parents. Some students also use the parts of the Banana tree to create a makeshift boat structure to cross the river for coming to school” he added.
Another village, same story
In Biswanath district of Assam, the children were seen using aluminium utensils as a boat to cross the river to reach their school. The locals have claimed that it is a usual affair for the children in their village. They say that children have to take such dangerous measures as there is no availability of proper infrastructure in their village and also they do not have schools in the nearby areas.
After getting to know about the incident, local BJP MLA Pramod Borthakur said that he was ashamed that kids had to undertake such a huge effort just to reach their school. He assured that he would make necessary arrangements after taking the matter up with district officials to shift the school, Financial Express.
“It worries me that the students cross the river using aluminium pots as there is no bridge in the area,” said a school teacher J Das. A teacher in the school also said that earlier the villagers used makeshift boats from banana trees to send their kids to schools.
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