Ranchi: In the middle of an academic session, a government residential school in Ranchi’s Bundu block is almost empty.
Just 60 odd students out of the total 250 remain. The rest left for home a month ago. It was a water emergency, say students like 10-year-old Abhishek Seth, who chose to stay behind.
The school has four hand-pumps – none of which worked for months. “We complained to our teachers. They kept on saying we will do something but nothing happened,” said Abhishek.
Government officials who came to repair two of the hand-pumps this week arranged for more water by repairing a bore well at the school which had gone dry too.
Water was finally found at 100 feet instead of the usual 70 but with a drought in Jharkhand even this may not be enough for the summers.
For students of the school who stayed behind, yellow and dirty water being supplied in the town by government tankers was the only option for over a month.
About 40 kilometres away, in Ranchi town, a similar situation plagues the Urdu Hindi Primary School. Students here are spending their days at the neighbourhood hand-pump, filling water for the school’s mid-day meals and the toilets.
School officials say there has been no repair despite repeated reminders to the education department.
The officials, however, in the education department have promised they would look into the matter and make alternative arrangements soon. But there has been no comment on why they had not acted on the complaint so far.
Meanwhile, there is not even a drop of water in the school. Two schools run from the same campus face the same problem, informed Azaida Begum, a teacher at the school.