Jadugoda village in Naxal-hit Potka Block in East Singhbum District of Jharkhand bears a dismal picture of the state government’s apathy as far as development is concerned.
In this village, located on one of the banks of the Sankh River, parents inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ slogan expose the lives of their children to danger everyday when they swim across the river putting their kids into a big handi to drop them at a nearby school.
It’s hard to believe, but sadly true that this horrendous and miserable picture of hopelessness emanates from a country that aspires to become a superpower by 2021. Located 27 km from district headquarters Jamshedpur and 135 km from state’s capital Ranchi, Jadugoda is a tribal majority village, which serves as a corridor to Naxals’ commutation and that is why villagers remained deprived of all those amenities that help people realise their potential. And thus, in the absence of basic amenities like roads, schools, bridge among others the potential of many bright children remained latent.
However, Prime Minister Modi’s slogan filled villagers with a renewed zeal to get their children educated notwithstanding the hurdles coming to their way. As there is no bridge over the river to reach the nearby school and poor tribals, who toil to meet their both ends, hardly have any resource to find an alternative to the bridge to cross the river, they find out a novel way to ferry their kids at the school and return home — parents asks their children to sit in a big handi with their school bags and swim across the river holding the handi in their arms.
Even the nearby bridge from Jadugoda is too far, and it will take parents at least two-three hours to drop their wards to the school, and that is why they are exposing their and their children’s their lives to danger. But, they want to know from Prime Minister Modi that even as they want to educate their children, how long they will be able to do it. Fulo Tuddu, a girl student, told ANI, “We go to school by crossing river in big handis. I am scared of crossing the river in the handi.”
“Following the Prime Minister’s call we are exposing ours and ours’ children’s lives to danger for educating our daughters. We swim across the river with our children in handis. It is scary, but there is no way out and if we have to educate our children, then we will have to do this,” Fulo’s father Suresh Tuddu told ANI.
Suresh Hembram, another girl student Heera’s father, “This is a tributary of Koel River and we swim across putting our children in handis. Following Prime Minister Modi’s call ‘beti padhao’, we are educating our children, but by exposing our lives to danger.”
Kalicharan, Sona Mani’s maternal uncle, too said that they were exposing their and their children’s lives to danger to get them educated.
Gram Pradhan Sidhu Hansda said, “We swim across the river with our children to send them to school in the absence of a bridge, which is causing a lot of problem and exposing lives to danger.” They demanded that Prime Minister Modi should get a bridge constructed on the river for our betterment and our children’s education.