Hundreds of students in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir have to cross Ladhote river to reach their schools in the absence of a bridge. The task, at times, turns out to be an ordeal as students cannot cross the river and skip their classes because the water level rises during monsoon.
"It is a daily routine for us to cross the river and go to our schools. However, it becomes extremely difficult for us to do the same when there is a heavy rainfall. It is affecting our studies," said Mohammad Aftar, a student.
Narrating their daily ordeal, Shabina Kouser, another student said, "We hardly get to reach our schools on time. Even though I manage to cross the river, it's a big task for my brother and sister, who are kids, as they cannot cross the river to reach their schools. A bridge is the need of the hour."
The locals, too, demand the government to build a bridge so that the children from economically weaker sections, for whom government schools are the last option, can go to schools regularly.
"These children have no option but to go to schools by crossing the river. It's a neverending issue for us," said Mohammad Basir, a retired serviceman.
The deputy district commissioner of Rajouri district, Mohammad Aziz, said building bridges over such rivers is already in the pipeline. "Once the bridges are built, we are hopeful, this very old problem will be solved once and for all and the students will be able to go their schools on daily basis," he said.