Students, parents near Delhi worried about reaching exam centres due to Farmers' protest

Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has called a Bharat Bandh on Friday, February 16, in support of the Delhi Chalo agitation — a march by farmers of Punjab to the national capital
Visuals from Farmers' protest | (Image: PTI)
Visuals from Farmers' protest | (Image: PTI)

With school Board exams slated to begin on Thursday, February 15, residents of areas near Delhi's Tikri and Singhu borders are worried about how children will reach exam centres amid traffic and security restrictions in view of the farmers' protest, a report by PTI stated.

Adding to their woes, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has called a Bharat Bandh on Friday, February 16, in support of the Delhi Chalo agitation — a march by farmers of Punjab to the national capital to press the Centre to accept their demands, including the enactment of a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

The restrictions in areas around the Delhi-Haryana border points, which have been fortified with metal barricades and concrete blocks to stop farmers from entering the city, came into effect on Tuesday, February 13, the day the march began.

Children are not able to reach coaching classes, how will they reach exam centres, a local of Tikri told PTI and added that the restrictions have added to the concern of parents, who are already battling the "stress of exams".

Students share concerns

Speaking to PTI, a group of girls, whose exam centre is the Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Tikri Kalan, said because of the restrictions, they would have to leave home early as the school is around seven kilometres from their village.

"We don't have a vehicle. So we might have to leave early and look for an auto or a bus to reach our exam centre in time," said a girl of the group that travelled from Mundaka to visit their centre.

Those who have vehicles have decided to use the metro rail to avoid traffic jams.

"My exam centre is in south Delhi's Mehrauli, which is around 40 km away. I have to reach the centre at 8 am. I won't travel by car due to heavy traffic. Instead, I will take the metro to reach there," said Suraj Upadhyay, a Class XII student and resident of Tikri border.

Pallavi, a student of a CBSE school living near the Singhu border, said, "I have planned to leave my home three to four hours early as I have to go to DAV Pritampura for my exam. I can wait for an hour outside the centre but I cannot be late."

Parents appeal to reconsider Bandh

A woman, who resides near the Singhu border, said, "There are a lot of traffic restrictions because of which children are not able to go to coaching centres or play."

"This is impacting their studies and may affect their scores in the exams," another parent told PTI.

On the SKM's decision, a parents group said that, "as concerned parents, we are in agony and compelled to raise our voices against the proposed nationwide strike or bandh on February 16", and appeal to reconsider their bandh call.

"Our children have been working hard while preparing for these examinations. However, their hard work could go in vain if they are unable to reach their examination centres due to railroad blockades and non-availability of transport services," it said.

Besides a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Prices (MSP), farmers are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pensions for farmers and farm labourers, farm debt waiver, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstate the Land Acquisition Act 2013, withdraw from the World Trade Organisation, and compensation for families of the farmers who died during the previous agitation, among others.

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