Two years on, flood-hit Kalash school yet to be rebuilt

CHITRAL, Sept 19: Over 200 students of a Kalash-specific government primary school in Baradesh, Rumbur valley, were forced to take classes in worn-out tents, braving the harsh winter conditions of the valley. The residents of the valley said that the school building was washed away by flash floods two years ago. They said that the classes were started in tents provided by a local NGO. schoolYasir Kalash, a Kalash leader, said that the primary school was meant for Kalash boys and girls, who had been attending classes in tents in the absence of school building. He said that in case of rain the tented classrooms were turned into a pool of water and the students asked to stay at homes. He said that during extreme winter conditions for five months onwards from November the children contracted different diseases. He said that two of the five classes of the school had been shifted to a nearby jastakhan – the community hall where body of the dead is kept for three days for performing rituals – and the classes were suspended for a week in case of someone’s death in the area. Mr Yasir said that the children attending classes in the jastakhan, a place for keeping the dead, were not comfortable with the situation. Zulman Shah, one of the parents of children enrolled in the school, said that they were worried about the future of their children as they saw no hope of rehabilitation of the building while the winter season was drawing nearer. He said that their children wanted to skip classes on one or the other pretext since they had lost their school building two years ago. Former chairman of Ayun union council, Muhkamuddin, said that the plight of the Kalash school had exposed the claims of the PTI-led provincial government.–Zahiruddin, photo Nazir Hussain]]>

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