A little after a week since their lives were uprooted by the violence that left at least 53 dead and over 200 injured in northeast Delhi, parents walked in and out of government schools on March 4 to be assured that normalcy will soon be restored in their children's academic lives.
Parents of children studying in Delhi government schools were called for a special parent-teacher meeting (PTMs) "to support each other to come out of this painful situation".
The Indian Express reported the case of Roshan, who was at her daughter Ifra's (16) school in Khajuri Khas. On Wednesday, Ifra had also appeared in her Class X CBSE board examination - her first after the violence broke out.
At the meeting, Ifra's teacher asked her how her examination had been and informed her that the board would soon notify the dates for the two examinations which had been postponed for her in the last week.
"Ma'am told us even she didn't know what the dates will be but assured us the exams will happen again and we will know soon. That was a huge relief. Apart from all the bad things we've seen in the past week, we were also worried all the effort the children had made in their studies last year would be lost," Roshan told .
Twelve-year-old Bushra also returned to her school on Wednesday with her mother Shama. The last time she was in her school, she was writing her Urdu exam while violence broke out nearby, again in Khajuri Khas. "The journey back home was very scary," said both mother and daughter.
"The teacher said the Urdu exam will also be held again because it's possible some students might have gotten distressed while writing it," said Shama.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also attended the meeting at a school in Gokalpuri village. Right next to the school lay the remains of the Gokalpuri tyre market, which had been set ablaze on the night of February 24. Gungun, a student of Class VII at the school, said Sisodia told her to "give her exams well".
हिंसा प्रभावित इलाक़ों में माहौल ठीक करने के प्रयासों के क्रम में, आज उत्तर पूर्वी दिल्ली के सरकारी स्कूलों में parents teachers मीटिंग रखी - जिससे बच्चों के मन में डर की जगह अपने career अपने भविष्य के सपने फिर से चमक सकें. pic.twitter.com/5jaGqUjJ58— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) March 4, 2020
"The gist is we have to get our lives back on track, and for that, it is essential we do away with hatred within us and start spreading love once again. It is time to move from the nightmares of rampant violence on the streets to focussing on our dreams now. The need of this PTM is to help us revive the dreams of our children along with their parents, towards building a strong career for themselves," said Sisodia.
Fiza, a Class IX student, and her mother Shahana said her teacher also told them to take precautionary measures with regard to the coronavirus. Shahana said the conversation around the meeting made her feel a little better about the situation.
"The teacher told us the exams will resume on March 11. Everything came to a stop after last Monday, so it's a relief that at least this is set into motion and we can expect support," she said.
Officials said 42% parents of students attended PTMs. Another set of PTMs will be held Thursday for parents of students of evening shift schools.