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A primary school among the dead

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 20, 2009

KURSEONG, 19 JUNE: The awkward location of the Gate Girls Primary School, situated cheek-by-jowl with a Christian graveyard and a Hindu burning ghat, near the Kurseong SDO’s office, is causing much concern for the students studying there.
Sources said that when somebody dies in that particular area, the funeral procession always passes through the school playground (close to the school building) and sometimes it has been reported that corpses have even been taken along the school corridor.
Kids usually practice drills and exercises in the play ground but the moment a funeral procession comes in sight, there is a rush among students and they are immediately taken inside and the classrooms are locked.
According to the teachers, watching a funeral procession might affect students. Hence, they had resorted to such steps in the past. Mrs Yanki Moktan, a teacher at the school, said that earlier, corpses had even been taken along the school corridor.
“We requested the higher authorities and with the help of the Kurseong municipality, gates were put up in the area,” Mrs Moktan said.
She also informed that the funeral procession is taken through the play ground since a long time, even before the school was set up. “Thus, we have no right to interfere with the process. Besides there is no road that connects to the burning ghat. The authorities concerned should construct a road soon.” Mrs Moktan added.
The Gate Girls Primary School was established in the year 1912 and later, in 2000 due to some reasons it was shifted near the Kurseong SDO office. The present building which houses the school was formerly a slaughter house.
When contacted, the Kurseong sub divisional hospital psychiatrist Dr TP Dukpa said such an act by school authorities will definitely affect the kids in the long run.
It might instill a kind of fear in their minds. Instead, kids should be taught about such incidents that occur in everyday life in a positive manner. The Kurseong SDO, Mr Dibyendu Das, said he was unaware of the matter but if need arises he would look into the matter.

Source: The Staesman


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