Little children in Assam's Biswanath district risk their lives every day to go to school. A video of the students crossing a swift flowing river in aluminium pots grabbed attention on social media on Friday.
Children in a small village called Sootea have to carry pots, big enough for them to get into, along with their school bags and walk down to the river bank. There are no bridges or boats. They climb into the pots and row using both hands, to get to the other side of the river. And it is the same mode of transport on their way back home.
"It worries me that students cross the river using aluminum pots as there are no bridges in the area. Earlier they used makeshift boats made of banana trees," said J Das, a teacher at the primary school.
After the video outraged many on social media, a BJP lawmaker Pramod Borthakur, who represents the area in the state assembly said, he is "ashamed to see this."
"There is no PWD road in the area. Don't know how the government constructed a school on an island. We can definitely provide a boat for the students. I will ask the district officer to shift the school to another place," Mr Borthakur told news agency ANI.
Children risking their lives to go to school is not unheard of in the country. Earlier this month students at Panchkula in Haryana were forced to cross the swollen Ghaggar River on their way back from school. Reports say, in the morning there was little water but after heavy rain the river was in spate and the children had to cross with the help of a pipe. The incident happened in Koti village, where locals say, there is no bridge on the river even after repeated complaints to the administrative authorities.
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