Hundreds of students in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir are forced to cross the Ladhote river to reach schools in absence of a bridge. The task, at times, turns out to be an ordeal as students cannot cross the river and skip their classes because of huge inflows of water during the monsoon season.
"It is a daily routine for us to cross the river and go to our schools. However, it becomes extremely difficult for us to do the same when there is a heavy rainfall. It is affecting our studies and career as well," said Mohammad Aftar, a student.
Narrating their daily ordeal, Shabina Kouser, another student stated, "We hardly get to reach our schools on time. Even though I manage to cross the river, it's a herculean task for my brother and sister, who are kids, as they cannot cross the river to reach their schools. A bridge is the need of the hour."
The locals too demand the government to build a bridge so that the children from the underprivileged backgrounds, for whom, government schools are the last option, can go to their schools on a regular basis.
"These children have no option but to go to the schools by crossing the river. It's a never-ending issue for us," said Mohammad Basir, a retired serviceman.
The Deputy District Commissioner (DDC) of Rajouri district, Mohammad Aziz said that building bridges over such rivers is already in the pipeline. "Once the bridges are built, we are hopeful, this very old problem will be solved once and for all and the students will be able to go their schools on daily basis," he told ANI.