Chamba administration on National Geographic for wrong reasons
District administration could not build a small non-motorable bridge in 10 years. It started the work but abandoned it.
Chamba– A video recorded somewhere in Mondu Village of Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh has made International headlines. Titled “TO GET TO SCHOOL, THESE KIDS MUST CROSS A DEADLY RIVER”, the video was today featured on the National Geographic too.
The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh always defends his inauguration of more schools. He argues that every child must have easy access to education. Ahead of assembly elections, the number various inaugurations and foundation stone laying ceremonies have gone higher.
But in reality, how many of these projects are completed in a time bound manner? Do existing government buildings receive maintenance sufficient enough to avoid incidents like Theog tragedy?
The story behind these school children in the video also throws light on the callousness of the district administration.
The video shows several school children including little ones putting their lives at risk to get to their school. Children were forced to get into raging waters of a wide nullah that is in spate due to heavy monsoon rains in the region. Some elder students were seen carrying smaller ones on their back.
Also, while crossing this risky nullah, the uniform and shoes get wet. Moreover, they struggle to keep their textbooks and school bags dry.
Children walk on the rocky surface underneath strong water tides. It’s fatal task and children are very vulnerable to such a risk.
It might be a familiar sight in rural areas of Himachal, but not for the urban world where schools are mostly accessible through road.
In rest of the world, people are stunned to watch how difficult it is for children to access education in India.
In the sophisticated lifestyle of developed nations, it’s a blunder and display of extreme insensitivity towards lives of the children.
As per a report, funds were sanctioned for the construction of a small bridge over the nullah about 10 years ago. It was forgotten after the erection of only two pillars.
The Deputy Commissioner of Chamba said an investigation has been ordered into the matter. The DC said he lacks proper details regarding this particular situation shown in the video.
This situation is a proof of the huge communication gap between people of the rural areas and their government. It suggests the bureaucrats and policy makers are either unaware of the ground reality or, they are ignoring it.
District administration could not build a small non-motorable bridge in 10 years.
It started the work but abandoned it.
Another local posted pictures of Deothi Panchayat in Anni Tehsil of Kullu district. The pictures support allegations that district administrations are not showing concern for the safety of people.
The collapse of the office building of the Theog bus stand had sounded the alarm. It devastated the families of four people who were buried alive under the debris. Several others were injured. Locals alleged the building was in dilapidating condition due to lack of maintenance for over a decade. They alleged it was already declared unsafe.
The foundations stone was laid for the new Theog bus stand in 2013. However, by August 2017 little was accomplished. These lives could have been easily saved if the administration had shown concern.