Even shelling can't deter spirit of students in Poonch

Last Modified Tuesday, 11 February 2020 (17:21 IST)
-Vishal Bharti
Jammu: Where there is will, there is a way.In what can be seen as the urge to study and secure future, courageous in shelling-hit are going for studies to converted to makeshift classrooms.
''We are trained by the Army and the staff of the school on how to leave the classrooms during and run towards bunkers for shelter and continue routine class-work so that our studies don't get affected,'' Shaista, a student from Poonch told UNI.
Annoyed by frequent shelling, Shaista said that she want a bright future and worrying about the firing will not let her achieve the goal of her life.
Normal life in border district Pooch of Jammu is crippled frequently due to ceasefire violation from Pakistan and heavy shelling across the border. To ensure safety of residents during shelling, the district administration has dug bunkers in border villages.
The concrete bunkers, which are solid enough to defeat even 120 mm mortar, have been converted to makeshift classrooms so that the students continue their studies especially when examinations are round the corner.
Though Pakistan fires unprovoked by shelling heavily with mortars in forward villages along the LoC but the courageous students of Pinewood School of Army's Good and many others, despite all odds are continuing pursuing studies to secure their future in bunkers when they are unable to study in classrooms.
Another student Sameena said, ''I want to appeal to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop shelling and targeting border villages on this side and let us chase our dreams.''
Seventeen-year-old Mohammad Imran, who lost his left foot after a mortar fired from across the border exploded close to him, appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for financial assistance to him and to his family.
''I was the lone bread earner in the family and after getting my leg amputated, I am unable to work like I used to earlier,'' he added.
Deputy Commissioner Poonch Rahul Yadav here told UNI, "there are total 1,388 bunkers allocated for community and individual, out of which 550 to 600 ready."
"We have asked for more allocation as Poonch has larger area with high density of population across the border," said the DC.
A total of 5,538 bunkers have been completed in the Jammu division including 5.035 individual bunkers and 503 community bunkers.
Also, 1,234 bunkers, including community and individual bunkers, have been completed in district Samba, 918 in Jammu, 1,193 in Kathua, 1,744 in Rajouri, over 500 in Poonch have been completed.
However, former MLC Shahnaz Ganai expressed apprehensions on numbers of bunkers stated by the administration.
"Poonch district has maximum population living close to the border but the bunkers allocation is not up to the mark as only 1,500 were built, which are not sufficient," she said.
"Several bunkers are still under construction. People living close to borders are the worst-affected by shelling and bunkers are utmost requirement at the moment, Ms Ganai said.(UNI)
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