I am a bird. I recently heard that a virus called Covid-19 affected the human kind. Am I too a victim of the virus? Has there been a genetic mutation in birds lately because I have been thinking like humans. After flying for such long hours and thinking along these lines, I have reached a place where Covid-19 is not prevalent. They call it Odisha! Where do I fly next? Whose matters do I overlook? There are a lot of school going children here. I think it is better to look for the school students as they are our future.
Why has the school opened so early? Oh! I got it, it’s summer season. The Odisha government has taken an appreciative move by changing the school timing so that the children can avoid direct exposure to heat in this season. But if the students have to reach the school by 6:30 AM, they have to wake up really early. Their parents would wake up even earlier.
For a moment, let me keep these thoughts aside and take a look at how these children go to school. I see a bus approaching. On a closer look, I saw that there is space for only 45 people, and may be two birds. But 112 students got pushed in. Yes, I counted as I had all the time in the world. Unsure of whether the students are able to breathe inside or would suffocate, I sat on the top. The condition of the bus is terrible. They may not have repaired or maintained it in a long while. Taking such a risk is horrible.
In the school, only students are visible. Am I looking in the wrong place? Where are the teachers? Let me see if they are in the in the office or in classrooms. Nope. Oh! I see one. He is managing everyone. How? This is why our children and young adults are not getting appropriate education and guidance. One teacher and so many students – Wherever I go and see, this is the case. It’s not changing, at least in my short lifespan. From the bird’s eye view (pun intended), I’m curious to know why anyone is coming to the school if they are not learning.
I smell food. Something is cooking in the school. There’s smoke coming out from the kitchen. My friends who have been here, tell me that there is something called the mid-day meal program. Maybe this is the reason why children are coming to school. At least they will get nutritious food. I’m glad it is going on well. It’s great that they are getting benefitted in this way. Poverty and malnutrition are getting eradicated on a small scale. Maybe, us birds will also benefit out of it.
There is a crowd in one corner of the school. It’s mostly girls outside the toilet. Like us, they are defecating and urinating in the open. Why did they make enclosed spaces then? They could’ve saved that money. I’ve heard that humans think open defecation spreads diseases. I’m not sure but if that’s the case, why is no one ensuring that there is enough awareness about hygiene and sanitation as well as stake of school administration to keep the spaces clean. No one deserves to use dirty, poor conditioned toilets. Is there anyone who is regularly monitoring the infrastructure of the school.
Note: The bird has asked you to read the following reference articles for more context: