Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sleeping on the road is scary..


“I do not want to sleep on road side I feel very insecure at night” says a 9 year old girl Sanju of the Baluyahi village of Khagaria district. After the recent floods that hit the state of Bihar she has been forced to live on the National Highway since it is the only high and safe place to camp. Sanju lives here with her family in a temporary makeshift tent arrangement covered with plastic sheets along with more than 200 families of the village.
Sanju and her elder sister Sarita who is 13 years old both in the nearest government school- the school has been closed for three months due to rise in the level of the river water. Sanju does not know when the school will re-open & how she will bring her books.
Sanju is only nine years old but she knows that living on the road is dangerous. She has shared how her friend met with an accident and hurt her right hand while crossing the road. Sanju and her elder sister are scared of sleeping on the road in the night. She said when a big truck passes on the road it feels like an earthquake tremor.
The devastation caused by floods in June 2013 damaged all the houses in the entire village. Children are slowly trying to adapt themselves to the situation. They have spent days wandering on the road. When asked what her ambition is she said she wanted to become a teacher but also raises a concern that the primary school of her village is affected due to the floods as a result of which the teachers and other children do not come to school.

Sanju's father is a rickshaw puller and after the floods he does not get many passengers. Her mother is also not getting any work. Sanju sadly says “My mother cooks meal once a day, on which we have to survive for the whole day. We only have rice and wheat with us which are not sufficient for my family. Had the floods not happened I would have not been sleeping on the road and would also be having sufficient food to eat.”

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