Lack of good roads and electricity
is hampering education in Azamgarh, UP
(Uttar Pradesh): Even as Uttar Pradesh elected a new
government in the hope for change, people of Azamgarh, especially
its teachers, hope poor roads and electricity shortages will now
be taken care of so that they can concentrate on their mission -
educating the young and eager minds of the district that is
steeped in history.
In this eastern Uttar Pradesh district and nearby areas,
unfavourable conditions of road and electricity remain the biggest
obstacles to primary education. Lack of such basic amenities in
the town is not just the concern of parents and school
administrations but also the cause of increased price of
Abu Sufyan, manager of Al-Ittihad Educational Society Beenapara,
which runs two schools, Sir Syed Higher Secondary English Medium
School and Ayesha Siddiqua Niswan School (Girls College), told
IANS: "There are more problems. The school vehicles need more
maintenance and have to spend more money on diesel."
Both schools have eight vehicles, including six buses and two
vans. Naseem Ahmad, 55, bus driver, feels driving eight-wheeler
buses on 3.5-metre wide roads is a really tough job for him. "It
is horrible to drive on this thin and broken road. I have to spend
one and a half hours instead of 35 minutes for a 20-km ride,"
Ahmad told IANS.
"No one can believe that it is a road. You can't find even half a
kilometre without a single pothole," said Sahid, another driver.
"I have to stop the bus when any vehicle passes near it," he
The condition in the villages is so bad that it has even given
rise to fears among parents about sending their children to
schools. Moniba Khatoon, a housewife of Kaunra Gahni village, 19
km from Beenapara, fears to send her two children via the same
route to school.
"I fear to send them by this road as it is completely broken and
may cause accidents. Several times I have thought not to send them
there, but there is no good school nearby," she said.
"It is very hard to catch the bus at 6.30 in the morning and then
bear jerks sitting inside the vehicle during the one-and-a-half
hour journey on the broken road," Ajay Kumar, a Class 8 student in
Sir Syed Higher Secondary School in Beenapara, told IANS.
Not just the roads but electricity is also a major concern among
people of the area.
Abdul Majeed, an 85-year-old farmer of Beenapara has never
experienced electricity continuously for a whole day. "Electricity
is rare here. It comes only for 8 to 10 hours per day with low
voltage and you have to wait for it."
"I have never seen continuous 24 hours electric supply in my
entire life," says Majeed.
"Here, electricity comes for 8 hours - during the daytime for one
week, and at night for the other," says another villager Tabrez
Alam. "It is difficult for our children to study for want of
electricity," he further said.
But Maulana Abdul Wasay, a madrassa graduate, does not agree.
According to him, these things are not hurdles for quality
education. "We all need good facilities, but it can't be treated
as an obstacle to have quality education. Our forefathers did
great things without these facilities."
"The books, which have been written under clay lamps, we are not
able to study them under tube lights," Wasay argues.
(Abu Zafar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)