He hates the five hours he has to spend at school every day.
Unlike other students of his age who look forward to going to school and having fun with friends, Rajat Rai, a class VIII student at Government Boys Senior Secondary School (GBSSS) in Model Town-III, wishes he could get back home as soon as possible.
A huge garbage dump adjacent to the school building is the reason for his misery. There are four schools near the garbage dump and Rai's school shares a boundary wall with the garbage dump. Repeated requests to remove the dump from its present location have gone unheard.
"Garbage of the entire Model Town colony is dumped here. It keeps rotting here; the entire area stinks. Not only the residents but students too suffer due to this," said Rohan Aggarwal, a resident of Model Town.
Residents have also claimed that the garbage is piled up and the civic authorities do not clear it daily. Stray dogs and cattle naturally flock to the dump.
"Most of the times stray dogs enter the school premises. Sometimes they enter when our classes are on. We have become used to it now," said Rai.
"It is a relief when I go back home. At least the smell is not there. It is nauseating and we have to put up with this as there is no other good school nearby," he added.
The school principal reiterated what the locals said. He said the school has contacted the municipal corporation and the area councillor for help.
"We have written several times to the MCD officials to remove this dump yard. We have been telling them for the past several years. After we lodged a strong protest, a portion of it was razed some days ago. But we want the entire thing to be shifted from this place, as it is not good for the students or anyone living here," said Shri Kishan Bhardwaj, principal, GBSSS, Model Town-III.
Not only the dump yard, some residents have also complained about heaps of debris/sand that has accumulated in the area due to the alleged callous attitude of the civic authorities.
A local resident even posted a complaint on the MCD's page on a social networking site complaining about the filth that has accumulated in the area.
Deshbandhu Mitra, a local resident, wrote on the civic agency's Facebook page, "There is lot of mud accumulated over the years on the sides of road leading from Model Town-I to Tagore Park Circle. This mud rises up with the winds and makes life of people living around hell. People living in the area have started getting allergies as a result of this. Please get the mud removed. Sweepers have been requested to remove the same, but they turn a blind eye." (sic.)