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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

At Gulabganj kids risk their lives for studies

Yogendra Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, February 27, 2013
First Published: 13:18 IST(27/2/2013) | Last Updated: 13:21 IST(27/2/2013)

More than 3,000 children from surrounding villages cross the railway track at Gulabganj twice everyday while going to school and coming back home.

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According to local residents, the number of students at schools in Gulabganj is more than 6,000, and half of them, who come from villages located on the other side of the station, have to take the risk of crossing the railway track to go to the school.

Incidents like the one witnessed on Tuesday may not have been reported in the past, but small accidents involving children and women on the railway track is a routine in this Vidisha tehsil, said the residents.

"Nobody, who has to go to the other side of the railway track or move to platform number two or three, can help but cross the railway track because there is just no other option. Students from more than 20 villages come to Gulabganj for studies and they take this risk at least twice a day.

We have made requests to railway officials, local politicians, MPs, MLAs and everyone whom we thought powerful enough to get us a foot overbridge, but it never happened," said Rakesh Dangi, a resident of Gulabganj and member designed by MP Human Rights Commission (MPHRC).

Rakesh Katare, sarpanch Gulabganj, referred to numerous agitations carried out in the village to highlight the demand for a foot overbridge at the railway station and how it has failed to impact authorities concerned despite the fact that hundreds risk their lives every day.

"We met everyone. Some gave assurances which turned out to be fake and then there were officials like the previous divisional railway manager (DRM) Ghanshyam Singh, who was blunt enough to tell us that foot overbridge at Gulabganj railway station is ruled out because it does not generate as much revenue as to motivate railways to consider our demand," said Katare.

Divisional railway manager, Bhopal, and Ghyansham Singh's successor Rajeev Choudhary maintained that Gulabganj railway station did not meet the prerequisites for the railways to undertake construction of foot overbridge. However, after Tuesday's incident, a proposal for the purpose would be send.


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