A river separates Bihar students from their school in UP



Strange but true. Around 300 girls and boys from two gram panchayats of Bihar’s Kaimur district undertake a dangerous boat journey across river Karmanasha every day to get intermediate and degree education in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

The reason: there is no higher secondary school or degree college within 15 kilometres on the Bihar side. The only upgraded high school at Kudari is at a distance of 3 km from their village Pipara and lacks basic infrastructure, besides facing acute scarcity of teachers. The kutcha road from Pipara to the school is difficult for even traversing on foot for several months.

The Gandhi Smarak Inter School at Chand, and another intermediate school at Dhanechha in Bihar, are at a distance of 15-20 km from these villages. The children get education up to 8th class at their village schools and later travel to neighbouring UP for secondary, higher and degree education.

Across Karmnasha, at Bhunjana in Saiyadraja block of Chandauli district in UP, a high school, inter college and a degree college are situated in the same campus, which is just 500 metres from these Bihar villages.

“You cross the Karmnasha and you are right there in the school campus,” Dhadahar panchayat mukhiya Bhaichan Rawat said, adding that the standard of teaching in the UP institution was also far better.

The boys and girls from about 12 villages, including Kanppur, Dhadahar, Pipari, Dhansarai, Pachhelipur, Baduri, Bhanpur and Bilkhuri of Dhadahar panchayat in Durgawati block and village Naubat in Biuri panchayat of Chand block of Kaimur district, undertake the journey everyday for education.

The situation worsens during the rainy season when the water level of the river rises. During the flood-like situation, the students, sometimes, are left with no option but to stay home.

“Travelling in the swollen river during monsoon is like inviting death. We collectively decide whether to cancel or continue school during those times and act accordingly,” say Abha and Rekha, class 10 students from Kanpur village.

Ritu Kumari, a class 11 student, and Sarita Kumari, a class 12 student, from village Belkhuri, said, “Our government perhaps seems waiting for any untoward incident to happen with us.”

Many a time, when the boatman goes on leave, the students take charge and ferry themselves to the school.

Mukhiya Rawat said a bridge on Karmnasha or a one km all-weather road from Pipari to Kudari’s upgraded higher secondary school could end the sufferings of the children of the area. He had contacted district magistrate, sub-divisional magistrate, block development officer and also the MLA of Ramgarh constituency for the purpose, but to no avail.

Ashok Singh, the BJP MLA from Ramgarh, said funds had been allocated and tenders issued for construction of road to connect the villagers with the plus-two school at Kudari. “The vacancies of teachers in the school would also be filled till December this year. This would end the problems of the students of these villages,” he said.

District magistrate Nawal Kishor Chaudhary said he would personally look in to the matter.

First Published:
Aug 15, 2019 14:09 IST

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