For most parents and children living in cities, crossing a road to catch a school bus seems to be the riskiest part of their schedule every morning. But take a look at these 50-odd children of some villages in Ludhiana who have to walk through a perilous 3.5 km stretch of the Mattewara forest area everyday to reach Government Senior Secondary School at Kadiana Kalan.
For Baljinder Kaur of Gari Fazil village crossing the forest area to reach her school, which is 7 km from her house, is nothing less than a nightmare. She feels scared and waits for a passerby to help her cross the forest area.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Kaur said: “I start at 8 am from my home to reach the school at 8.45 am. But crossing the forest everyday is a risky business. But I have no other option. I want to become a doctor and cannot give up studies.”
Baljinder Kaur is not the only girl who has to cross the forest area to reach the school.
Around 50 more students of classes 9 to 12, belonging to Gari Fazil, Gari Sheru and Gari Togar villages, are forced tread this treacherous path.
The HT team that visited the Kadiana Kalan school was told that in the absence of a bus facility, students have to cross the forest either on foot or on their bicycles.
Mandeep Kaur, a class 11 student of Gari Togar village, said: “For the past four years, I am taking the forest route to reach the school. The area is not safe. There is always a fear of encountering wild animals. Four other girls from my village take this route and whenever they are not there, I ask y father to drop me to the school.”