The fate of over 150 extremely poor students of a primary school in Valmikinagar hangs in balance as Nepal grabs thousands of hectares of Indian soil in Susta area of western Champaran.
The three teachers in the primary school at Chakdahwa Balgangwa village have stopped coming to the school located on the Indo-Nepal border on the outskirts of the Valmiki Tiger reserve.
The thatched school bears a deserted look and not a single student can dare to walk 6 km through the dense forest, infested by tigers, to Rohua Tola primary school where alternative arrangements have been made for these students. There is no transportaion facility in this part of the country.
The principal of Rohua Toli primary school, Arjun Kumar, speaking to Zee Purvaiya, a sister concern of dna, said, "There is hardly any attendance of students from Chakdahwa Balgangwa. They can't walk this long through the forests. Besides the teachers fear going to the school on the border as criminals from Nepal have been threatening them constantly."
The only hand pump which was installed by the state government for the schoolchildren has been uprooted allegedly by the Nepalese who have encroached on Indian soil in Sushta and are gradually inching closer to the Indian villages.
Jalil Ansari, a social activist of the area, who has land records of the last over 100 years produced several maps and made mention of several Indo Nepal treaties to hammer in the point that the land belonged to India but over the years the Nepalese have encroached on the Indian soil. "As per the records and various treaties, Nepal should have been on the other side of the Gandak as Gandak has been made the boundary line. Yet the Nepalese have now grabbed over 2.5km of land on the other side of the Gandak river." he said. " Why is our government silent when all the records indicate it is Indian land?" he added.
The villagers have approached the authorities several times in the recent past but to no avail. In the last five years or so there has been bloody conflicts between the people on the two sides of the border in which over four people have died.
Gulab Ansari recalled with horror, "They would come armed with country-made weapons, fire at our houses and cut the bark of trees and scribble that the land belonged to them."
The nearest SSB (Special Secuirty Bureau) – border police – post as the villagers allege has gradually moved deeper into the Indian side of the border, giving the Nepalese a free hand in land grabbed by them," said a woman covering her head with a saree trying to ward off the scorching heat.
Asmuddin Ansari, a student of class three, has left going to school for the last one year when the school was closed for want of teachers.
The teachers can't dare to come to the school as they fear attacks from the other side. On the other hand, on the Nepalese side in Susta, there are a thriving school and a police post and several houses built on the land grabbed from India. Several houses have also have sprung up in the recent past.
The Nepalese have also started encroaching forest land on the Indian side.
The children of the primary school in Valmikinagar while away their time playing under the trees or tendering to the cattle. They know not what fate has in store for them