ON MONDAY morning, 13-year-old Prem Pawar and 29 other children, studying in Classes V to X, have to wade through a three-foot-deep flooded road leading out of their village to reach their zilla parishad school at another village, situated 3 km away.
Under all that water lies the main road of Bangarwadi village in Murbad, the only road leading out of the village. Now, it lies filled with water due to excess rain.
The children will be starting their journey at 7.30 am to reach school at 11 am. “There is only one road out of the village and that too is inundated. The water is around three feet deep and it has made the road inaccessible. Children going to school face a lot of hardship,” said Sanjay Wagh, a resident of the village.
This is not the first time that residents of Bangarwadi have faced this issue during the monsoon; the situation has been the same during previous years too.
“We had alerted the authorities about road conditions before the monsoon. No one paid heed to us,” said Manohar Wagh, another resident, adding, “the gram panchayat tells us that the road falls on private land and they can’t do anything about it. If it is the only road leading out of the village, how can it be owned privately?”
The authorities in Murbad and Thane, however, are unaware of the students’ plight. “There are certain villages that are partially cut-off from main cities, but since the rain has receded, we have managed to help the villagers. I am not aware of the issue in Bangarwadi but I will investigate,” said an official from the Thane collector’s office.