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Bridge over troubled water

Jul 09, 2010

Hundreds of students across villages in Bangladesh have to wade through the muddy water of a dying river to attend classes. To end their woes, district administrators have made arrangements for a bridge to help them commute to school.

Nearly half of over 400 students of Goarha High School in Ghatbhog union under Rupsha upazila of Khulna district have to wade through waist-deep muddy water of Atharobeki River to attend their classes.

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Over a hundred of them have already stopped attending classes to avoid the risky act as Atharobeki River, which is gradually drying up under adverse impact of climate change, became unfit for movement of boats or mechanised ferries over two months ago.

"Around 200 students, who are inhabitants of Anandanagar, Kharhbaria and Sheikhpura villages in neighbouring Terokhada upazila, have to take the trouble to wade through muddy water of the river for attending their classes.

Many students recently caught cold as they got soaked with muddy water," said Headmaster Anadi Ranjan Biswas.

"My parents have asked me not to go to school as boat service across the dried up river has remained suspended," Abul Hasnat, a student of class seven of the 30-year-old high school, said with a heavy heart.
"My father has taken my transfer certificate from the school as it is not possible for me to attend classes after walking through mud everyday," said Jharna Das, a student of class eight.

Class ten students Badsha Sheikh and Lima Akhter said they will have to stop going to school if the situation continues.

"I have planned an arrangement for a bridge made of bamboo and wood to facilitate students' attending classes," said Akbar Hossain, chairman of Rupsha upazila parishad.                     

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