J’khand: Studies take a back seat, students fetch water for mid-day meal | ranchi | Hindustan Times
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J’khand: Studies take a back seat, students fetch water for mid-day meal

With the bore well on the campus dried up for the last two months and the authorities turning a deaf ear to pleas of help, the children are doing a lot of things to cope with the problems putting studies on the back burner.

ranchi Updated: Apr 21, 2016 12:30 IST
B Vijay Murty
Students of Urdu Hindi Primary School in Ranchi collect water from nearby houses during school hours.
Students of Urdu Hindi Primary School in Ranchi collect water from nearby houses during school hours. (Parwaz Khan/HT Photo)

Students of an upgraded Urdu Hindi Primary School in Ranchi’s Pathalkudwa area have also fallen victim to the ongoing drought situation in Jharkhand.

With the bore well on the campus dried up for the last two months and the authorities turning a deaf ear to pleas of help, the children are doing a lot of things to cope with the problems putting studies on the back burner.

As soon as the children arrive in school, they are sent out to collect water from neighbouring households. A bulk of water is then used in preparing mid-day meals while the remaining water is used for drinking.

The teachers claim they are helpless as the government’s focus is more on getting the midday meal served to the children even if it comes at the cost of skipping the classes. Children do not complain for they seem to have resigned to their fate that the authorities won’t listen to them and they will have to arrange their own water if they are to get the mid-day meal.

“Year after year with the onset of summer, we face this grim situation as the sole tubewell on our campus bored in the fifties goes dry and is never repaired before the monsoon,” said Madhuri Hembrom, in-charge of the Hindi section.

She said they had petitioned the Ranchi municipal corporation last month requesting repair of the dry tube well but no one has turned up yet.

“If you miss taking classes there is a lesser punishment, but if there is a complaint against any teacher that she did not serve mid-day meal to the kids, there are chances that she might be rusticated,” Hembrom added.

With no water in the lavatories, girls above 10 years are made to go back home to answer nature’s call. Some of them stay more than a kilometer away from the school. By the time these girls return, it’s time for the school to close for the day.

Zahida Begum, in-charge of the Urdu section, said, “Adolescent girls in the school need proper lavatories with water. Since there is no water, we are forced to allow them go home during school hours to answer nature’s call. It’s a weird situation but there is no other way out till the tube well is repaired.”

People in the neighbourhood are supportive but even their tube wells have started failing in the extreme weather conditions.

“We never turn the children back whenever they come requesting for water, but we have to cut short the supply to them as the water table is going down by the day,” said Neelmani Ghoshal, a resident living near the school.

Deputy mayor Sanjiv Vijayvargiya said action would be taken soon on the school’s request.