Byndoor: A father's daily struggle to cross rivulet to take his differently abled children to school

10:12 AM Jul 03, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Kundapura: Every day, a father wades through the fast-flowing rainwater in the rivulet, carrying his two specially-abled children. After this, he travels 7 kilometers by bike to drop them to school. The mother stays at school with the children from morning until evening. In the evening, they return home, again crossing the rivulet by foot.


This is the story of the Maratha Naik family from the Hulkadike area of Yelajit village in Golihole Gram Panchayat, Byndoor Taluk. Without a bridge, not only this family, but over ten families face difficulties. Yet, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears of the authorities.

Suresh Naik and Sujatha’s children lost motor control of their hands and legs when they were 2 years old. Since then, the parents have been their only support. Now, their son is in 8th grade and their daughter is in 7th grade, studying at Yelajit School, about 7 kilometers from their home.

The hardship the couple endures during the rainy season to take their children to and from school daily is immense.

Suresh’s family is poor. Due to the care required for their children, Suresh cannot go out for work. He works only when the children have holidays. Otherwise, he must take the children to and from school in the morning and evening. The mother stays at the school from morning to evening to care for the children. Their small betel nut plantation is the only source of their livelihood.


Bikes on Both Sides of the River

Hulkadike has a primary school up to 5th grade only. For further education, children must travel 7 kilometers to Yelajit, which is accessible only by crossing a rivulet in Gudikeri. Despite requests over many years, no response has come from authorities, locals say.

During the rainy season, parents must carry their children across the overflowing river. This is not just Suresh’s story; all parents here must do this daily. Suresh bought two bikes, one kept on each side of the rivulet. He transports the children from home to the river on one bike and from the other side to school on the second bike.

“We have been requesting a bridge for seven years, but it hasn’t happened yet. Taking care of the children isn’t hard for us, but carrying them across the overflowing river is terrifying. We hope the bridge is built soon,” said Sujatha.

Attempts by the MP

During the previous government, MP B.Y. Raghavendra proposed building bridges at three places, including Hulkadike. However, with the change in government last year, the proposal was not approved. “We have been submitting requests for 7-8 years. A bridge over this stream would ease our difficulties,” says local Gram Panchayat member Rajesh Kothari.

MLA’s Visit; Assurance of Temporary Solution

Upon learning about the hardships faced by the people of Hulkadike, MLA Gururaj Gontihole visited the area on Tuesday and gathered information. He assured that a temporary bridge using a lorry and other vehicle chassis would be considered.

Additionally, a rental house near Yelajit will be arranged within a week for Suresh’s family to facilitate the children’s education. Previously, a proposal for a bridge was sent by the MP, but the current government has not approved it due to funding issues and delays in work. Efforts will be made for the children’s treatment as well, Gantihole said.

The MLA further said that he has instructed the Small Irrigation and Public Works Departments to investigate and report on the bridge issue.

Translated from a Kannada article by Prashanth Paade


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