Students in Remote Baitadi Risk Lives Crossing Rivers to Attend School

Paschim Press
Monday 11th December 2023
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  • Students in Remote Baitadi Risk Lives Crossing Rivers to Attend School

    Mahendranagar, 19 September

    As there is no bridge to cross the Nwaghari River which joins the West Seti, students are forced to cross the river to go to school risking their lives. 

    The Nwaghari River has washed away the dreams of many students. So far, three people have died due to landslides. This pain belongs to the students of Sigas Rural Municipality-7, Sangda, and Thalar villages.

    Since there are only schools up to class 3 in Sigas-7, Sangda, and Thalar villages, more than 40 students from here are rushing to Ganesh Mavi of Sigas-6, which is about an hour away, to study in higher classes.

    Lakshmi Chand, a teacher from the same village, has been taking the students across the river and bringing them to Ganesh Mavi. Teacher Chand Ganesh has become a support to the students as she teaches in Mavi. Chand, a teacher, expressed her pain that no one heard about her living in a remote area despite her repeated demands for a bridge.

    Looking up from the river crossing, Maura Bhir can be seen, from where two people have fallen and died so far. Three people have died in Navaghrigarh. There is no walking path in Bhir, as there is no bridge to cross the river, the students here are forced to wade in the river every day to go to and from school.

    Ganesh Mavi, which was approved in the year 2032, currently has 150 students studying, said the principal of the school, Kalusingh Saud. He said that 40 students always cross the river to come to school.

    By chance, Lakshmi Chand, a teacher from Sangda village, teaches at Ganesh High School, so she has the responsibility of crossing the river along with teaching, said Principal Saud. He said that despite requests from local, state, and federal government representatives for the bridge, there was no hearing. Sigas Rural Municipality of Baitadi has not yet been connected with transport. Every year, the floods of the Navaghrigad and Seti rivers wash away the houses and roads.

    After the flood washed away the bridge connecting Sigas Rural Municipality-7 of Baitadi, and Adarsh Rural Municipality-6 of Doti from Bhaunelipatal, Pang Babina, the locals are now in trouble.

    Bhim Bahadur Chand, a local, said that since the transportation has reached the Adarsh Rural Municipality of Doti, they have to take the risk to cross the river even to buy daily necessities.

    He said, "The people of Sigas dream of a bridge, sometimes they dream of West Seti, but their dreams of bridges, highways, and cars are washed away by the waves of the Navaghri River and Seti."

    6_5.jpgDue to the rumor that the West Seti project will be built, even the national transmission line of electricity has not yet been extended in Sigas. The students here are forced to read by reading. Due to the lack of electricity, on days when the solar system does not work, it is necessary to light a candle in the health institution to give birth.

    In terms of geography, Sigas Rural Municipality is the largest among all 10 local levels of Baitadi, spread over an area of 245.44 square km. Paschimseti hydropower project with a capacity of 750 megawatts reservoir is located in Sigas Rural Municipality. Sigas Protected Forest declared as a protected forest by Nepal Government is also located in this rural municipality.

    According to statistics of the Division Forest Office, Baitadi, there are Lautsalla which cures cancer, and more than 65 valuable herbs in Sigas Protected Forest. Although Sigas Rural Municipality is full of natural resources, the local government, state, and federal governments have not been able to provide quality services in river crossing bridges, good walking paths, electric lights, and health institutions.

    Sigas Rural Municipality Chairman Harisingh Dhami said that the Union State Government conducted a survey under the leadership of the local government to build a bridge in Nawaghari Gada. He said that the higher government should listen to the demands of the locals.

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