Students of Pitaraj Basic School falling ill in their classrooms.
ROLPA, Feb 20: After more children started falling ill, parents have deployed shamans at their school since the past two months. Pitaraj Basic School at district headquarters Liwang had remained closed for days after more school children started shivering and falling unconscious while in class.
The school is just 100 meters from the district hospital.
The children are approaching their final exams but they have not been able to attend classes regularly.
Initially, the problem affected only children in the sixth and seventh grades. However, it has now become more widespread. "We have not been able to teach properly since two months," said Lila Acharya, the school principal, adding, "We have our hands full just taking care of them and rushing them to hospital. We are worried our annual exam results will be affected."
With so many of their students fainting and falling ill, the teachers have also started worrying about their own health. "We closed the school for four days. The parents even brought in some shamans. But nothing has worked," said Principal Acharya. According to her, it is mostly the girls who are affected .The municipal authorities are aware of the situation but for a long time they did nothing. "We sent some heath workers from the district hospital but they could not do anything so today (Tuesday) we have mobilized some doctors," said Purna KC, mayor of Rolpa Municipality.
"I had heard about the school shutdown but I don't know about any more children falling ill since then," said Lok Kumar Shrestha, a source at the municipality.
Dr. Anubhav Paudel at the district hospital, who visited the school Tuesday, seemed put off by the condition of the children. He was busy counseling them the whole day. "This is a serious mental problem and can be solved only through counseling," he said .
As the faith-healers who were called in also could not make any difference, the desperate parents are preparing to bring a more powerful shaman and also sacrifice a black he-goat for good measure. "Doctors' prescriptions didn't work so we are thinking of sacrifice a black goat," said one of the parents.
The school children complain that they start feeling dizzy and also see someone in white when they close their eyes. The figure in white keeps calling them even in the toilet, they say. This kind of phenomenon has been a common problem in schools around here and many of them have been turning to shamans for help.Balkalyan Model Secondary School and Tara Secondary School in Liwang had also sought shaman help after their students started fainting in class.Caption: