SURKHET, Feb 22: Kabi Ram Nepali, a resident of Mohanyal Rural Municipality-3 of Kailali district, is a high school student. While going to his school, Nepali has to cross the Karnali River risking his life. As there is no bridge over the river, students like Nepali have been risking their lives to go to the school regularly. They have been crossing the Karnali River with the help of a wooden boat.
“There is no bridge connecting Malekha and Bichaura. So the students in the region go to the school crossing the river in a risky manner,” Nepali said. At least 55 students have been risking their lives to attend the school.
After Republica published a story about how the students have been risking their lives to attend the school in Surkhet, a campaign named 'Hami Manabta Bachau' provided life jackets to 55 students who cross the Karnali River to attend the school everyday.
“After getting the life jackets, it will be less risky to cross the Karnali River,” said a student, who has been crossing the Karnali River for the last six years to go to school.
Likewise, Radhika Bhul, a ninth-grader, said that the wooden boat has flipped at times while crossing the river. “Our books have been swept away by the river,” she said, adding that it will be easier to cross the river after getting the life jackets.
According to Sitaram Chataut, secretary of the campaign, the students were handed the life jackets after the news that they were crossing the river with the help of wooden boat was published. “A total of 55 students coming to Surkhet from Kailali have been handed life jackets,” Secretary Chataut said, expressing concerns over the fact that the government has not resolved the problems of the students for years.
Likewise, Thamkar Bisi, principal of Jaggannath School, said that the life jackets would help the students to cross the river. “The students come to the school risking their lives,” he said, adding that the life jackets will be helpful in saving the lives of the students.
If there were a bridge over the Karnali River, students would arrive at the school within 35 minutes. At present, students have been spending more than an hour to reach the school. As it takes time to cross the river, the students don't get enough time for studies and extracurricular activities.