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Kashmir Newz Specials

Kashmir quake hit schools ignored despite promises

Faisul Yaseen / Peerzada Arshad Hamid

Poonch/ Uri
Oct 09, 2006:

The students and teachers of the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Sheesh Mahal Poonch, 250 km northwest of Jammu, remember UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's promise of starting the reconstruction of the earthquake damaged school.

However even the promise from the most influential leader in the country has not been able to get the school reconstructed.

Even after assurances by the government reconstruction or alternative arrangement for school children seems nowhere a priority for the government.

"We had to study under tents instead of proper classrooms in the incessant rains and the gruelling heat of summers. The furniture was damaged in the quake and all we have in place is make-believe blackboards," Nishu Sudan, a 12th standard student at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Sheesh Mahal Poonch.

The school was the once the palace of Dogra kings who ruled the state till India secured independence from the British in August 1947. Later the former Prime Minister of J&K Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah handed it over to the school on April 20, 1980.

Amrit Kour, who teaches Punjabi at the school said that since the quake, life at school has been very difficult. "We are constantly living under the fear that someday the broken and damaged walls of the school may collapse and with it result in a huge tragedy in the school as the students study in the compound in the make shift classroom," Kour said.

"It is very risky," she goes on.

Being a legacy of Dogra rulers the Sheesh Mahal School also used to attract tourists.

Inspite of government claims the building has neither seen even makeshift sheds have not been constructed in the last one-year and the school functions in the tents donated by J&K Police. The government apathy towards schools can be seen all across the quake hit zones, particularly in remote hamlets.

At Chullan in Uri, the debris of Government Middle School that collapsed in the last year’s devastating earthquake lies in the compound.

continued . . .


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Kashmir Newz Specials
Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

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