Children appeal for footbridge to reach school

May 15th, 2008 - 5:30 pm ICT by admin  

Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu), May 15 (IANS) Children of a school in this Tamil Nadu district appealed to the state government Thursday for a pedestrian bridge as they had to wade through a pool of stagnant water to reach school. The children of a school in Melmanalur village near here, about 600 km south of state capital Chennai, complain that they have to cross neck-deep water as a pond has come up on the road due to indiscriminate sand quarrying.

“The stretch of water was non-existent till some six months back,”said Abdul Aziz, 42, a farmer. “Gangs excavating sand have left a gaping hole on the bed of a long-dried village tank. A pond has suddenly come up there, cutting off the area from the nearest road.”

R. Banu, 9, said: “I am forced to carry a spare dress on my head in order to change my wet clothes every day after I walk through neck deep water.”

Six-year-old Omar Ali, who hails from a poor family, has a different problem.

“I have to stay for days together in the school or with relatives in dirty clothes because I only have one spare set of clothes back home. All my friends tease me as ‘a dirty stinker’ because I change only once a week,” said Ali.

“One keeps hearing that people go abroad to study. But our children are finding it difficult to travel to a school hardly two km away for basic education,” said Munthalamma, 29, a mother of two.

“Building a proper bridge may take time. We appeal to the authorities to at least create a footbridge to help us walk across to our school with dry clothes,” Banu said, echoing the sentiments of their school mates.

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