How would you feel if I tell you that from tomorrow you will have to cross a river without a boat to reach your school, college or office? Thankfully you won’t have to do such a thing. But young children in a small village in Assam are forced to use aluminium pots as boats to cross a river to reach their school every single day!
My heart was in my mouth as I watched with horror a video of 3 boys and 3 girls -all less than 10 years of age and in government school uniforms - making their way to school located on an island in this dangerous way.
These are the images that I saw in a video online when my state Assam became a hashtag and began trending on the internet.
I shudder to think of how these underprivileged children are risking their life and limb every single day, while authorities look the other way.
The media reports say there are from Kurwatii village in Naduwar area of Biswanath district. I even saw the interview of a school teacher who confirmed that there has been no bridge over the river, leaving the children no choice but to use makeshift boats - earlier banana plant fibre and now aluminium vessels.
This is not what the Right to Education Act had in mind for India’s children!
It is time for authorities - everyone from the block education officer to the Chief Minister of my state to sit up and give the children of Kuruwati village a safer passage to school. Would they be comfortable with their own children going to school in such an unsafe way?
This issue is no less than an emergency. For we as a society are clearly failing our children. It is time to start caring and start acting.
Sign my petition asking the Government of Assam to do the following by this 14th November, which is Children’s Day
- Shift the school closer to the children - from the island to the mainland where they live
- And in the meantime build a sturdy bridge or provide a child-safe, free boat service to ferry the children across the river to school.
Sign my petition to make access to schools safer for these children and future generations. Your signature can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
(Photo credit: Hindi.oneindia.com)