Monsoons Flood School

Vipin Joshi, Uttarakahnd. Monsoons wreaks havoc government school and students have nowhere to go. In India, the long and often torrential monsoons almost always wreak havoc, curtailing movement, destroying infrastructure and jeopardizing lives. School going children are not spared either. In Janpath Bageshwar, in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand, junior school students say they feel unsafe being at school. The school, built on the banks of the Gomti river, is threatened by strong currents during the monsoons when the river swells. Last monsoons, the boundary wall around the school gave way under the pressure of heavy rainfall. A year down, the wall remains in a state of rubble, it’s foundation visible here and there, amongst grass and swampy fields, which was once a playground. The young girls at the school are vocal about their discontent with the situation at hand. A pony tailed girl, in green uniform says, “There is no scheme in place to ensure our security in this school.” Her statement appears to carry weight. The school floods, its boundary wall is broken, the area facing the school is being used by villagers for mining and the road leading to the school has been washed away. A government official promised the school monetary assistance, but the school waits in vain. Vipin Joshi, our community correspondent from Uttarakhand, who made the video on this issue says that this is just another example of the government implementing a plan without any forethought. He says, “It is surprising that the authorities when constructing a school do not even take into consideration something as basic as the safety of our children. About the CC: According to Vipin Joshi, tourism and development has been a curse for the Kumauni community of Uttrakhand.  Instead of benefiting from the money it was bringing in, the community began to lose its land and livelihood. The media reports on the construction of the dam but there’s no mention of the people who have lost their lands; the tourism department paints a colorful picture but the environmental costs are never mentioned. Having worked in community radio, Vipin is familiar with the influence of community media. He now wants to use community video to document his people, tell their stories and use it to make an impact within his community.

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