Schools get calls from panic-stricken par­ents

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Pramod Giri letters@hindustantimes.com

have been over­whelmed with calls and mes­sages from par­ents anx­ious about the well-be­ing of their chil­dren study­ing at schools in vi­o­lence­hit Dar­jeel­ing, Kurseong and Kalimpong in West Ben­gal af­ter the GJM called an in­def­i­nite shut­down in the hills.

Aca­demics have been par­tially af­fected but there is no rea­son to worry about the safety of chil­dren who stay in hos­tels, au­thor­i­ties of var­i­ous schools in the area told HT. “I am get­ting over 500 calls ev­ery day from anx­ious par­ents. We have told them there is noth­ing to panic . We have pro­vi­sions for weeks and the stu­dents are se­cure,” said Chetan Te­wari, Kurseong co­or­di­na­tor for As­so­ci­a­tion of Hill Listed ICSE Schools (AHLIS).

As many as 43 schools are mem­bers of AHLIS. Te­wari is also the prin­ci­pal of St An­thony’s School that has 900 stu­dents of whom over 350 are board­ers.

Fa­ther Sha­ju­man, the rec­tor of St Joseph’s (North Point) School, said, “We have at least two month’s sup­ply. There is noth­ing to worry. We have some teach­ers in­side the cam­pus and they are help­ing stu­dents with stud­ies.”

The schools will close for sum­mer va­ca­tion in June-end, and for many stu­dents leav­ing the hills for plains in the midst of a shut­down may not be smooth. How­ever, school au­thor­i­ties were hope­ful of a peace­ful evac­u­a­tion.

“There was a bandh in 2013 too, but both the agi­ta­tors and the govern­ment helped us in evac­u­at­ing chil­dren,” said Bobby Chachan, di­rec­tor of Bethany School in Kurseong.

De­spite the as­sur­ances from school au­thor­i­ties, ten­sion is run­ning high among par­ents. San­joy Roy, the fa­ther of a Class 11 stu­dent in a re­puted school in Dar­jeel­ing, told HT that au­thor­i­ties have started ra­tioning food. “My son was given a roti less at night. I have noth­ing to com­plain on that front. But I am wor­ried about his safety,” Roy said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.