In the election year, the government is forcefully promoting its schools' conversion into English medium, without seeking the opinion of the local communities. However, despite this, the children of Aad village in Udaipur district are demonstrating great enthusiasm for education. These determined children travel approximately 8 km every day to attend classes at the Government Higher Secondary School in Alsigarh, as their educational journey continues beyond class 5.
Despite facing various challenges, such as the lack of proper transportation options, these children remain steadfast in their pursuit of knowledge. They often have to rely on dilapidated route buses or even walk on foot when transportation is unavailable. Regardless of the season, their commitment to learning remains unwavering. It is noteworthy that the government's push for English medium schools seems to be overshadowing the needs and preferences of the local communities, as exemplified by the children of Aad village who are striving to access education at a distant school.
Recent revelations have brought to attention the plight of 32 children, ranging from class 6 to 12, who are encountering numerous challenges in their daily pursuit of education, residing approximately 8 km away from Alsigarh and a considerable 30 km from the city. Among these students, 12 are girls. Notably, in the previous year, there were 24 children from Aad village studying in the fifth grade. However, upon completing their fifth-grade education, all of them were compelled to seek admission in Alsigarh School due to its proximity being the most viable option at the time.
Presently, the remaining 8 children from Aad continue their educational journey, studying in the seventh to twelfth standards. The distance they have to cover to reach the school in Alsigarh remains a significant challenge, posing difficulties to their regular attendance and access to quality education. "We can't even study at night because we get tired of coming on foot. There is no electricity either. Many children have even left their studies due to these problems. We want to continue our studies." Pyari Kumari, student, Raumavi, Alsigarh
Aad School has a history of 25 years, and its accessibility remains a pressing issue for the village. The only means of transportation available on the route is a single bus that serves the purpose of ferrying both laborers and school children alike. This bus represents the sole support system for the students attending the school. Interestingly, the original village, Popalti, is situated at a distance of approximately 6 km. However, due to the presence of a drain in between, children are unable to take admission there, leading them to travel to Alsigarh instead.
Despite the presence of the sole bus, its intermittent stops create difficulties for the villagers, who are then forced to arrange private transportation at their own expense. In an attempt to address the issue, discussions were held with a jeep owner in the past, who quoted an exorbitant fee of Rs. 1000 per month per child. Unfortunately, this was beyond the capacity of the villagers, and the plan fell through.
The villagers have repeatedly raised this concern with the authorities, from the MLA to the collector, seeking a resolution. However, each time, they received the same response - assurances that a proposal had been sent to upgrade the school to include classes up to VIII. Regrettably, despite these promises, the situation has remained unchanged for the past ten years, leaving the children of Aad village to continue their challenging daily commute to Alsigarh for education.
"I have been studying in Alsigarh for 5 years now. There is fear on the way and I also want to cry, but what to do, everything has to be tolerated for the sake of studies." Deetli Meena, student, Raumavi, Alsigarh
"The children from Aad village face a genuine problem. Approximately 32 students have to walk a considerable distance due to the lack of transportation means. We have already informed the department about this issue." Jeevanlal Meghwal, Principal Roomavi Alsigarh
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