Assam MLA Promod Borthakur laying the foundation stone of a wooden bridge in Kuruwati village of Biswanath district Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: Almost a month after a video of school children in Assam crossing a river using aluminium pots went viral, local MLA Promod Borthakur laid the foundation stone of a 36-metre-long wooden bridge over the river in Kuruwati village of Biswanath district.

As per Borthakur, the bridge will be completed within three months. “The progress for the same will be personally monitored by me so that the bridge is completed at the earliest and the local community and students will never have to risk their lives daily just to attend school. We owe this definitely to our children.”

The development came after Borthakur took note of a #SaveAssamKids campaign that was started by Guwahati-based Bidisha Saikia on petition website Saikia was horrified to see an online video of three boys and three girls — all less than 10 years of age and in school uniforms — making their way to the school located on an island, in cooking utensils.

In her petition, Saikia says, “It is time for authorities — everyone from the block education officer to the chief minister of my state to sit up and give the children of Kuruwati village a safer passage to school.” Bidisha has more than 5300 supporters on her petition.

Reacting to the statement posted by the MLA, an elated Bidisha says, “I am thrilled to see that Mr. Promod Borthakur has extended his support and laid the foundation stone for the bridge. This may seem like a small thing to most of us in the big cities, but I’m sure it means the world to those young school children in the Kuruwati village, who will soon have a safe way to reach school. I intend to diligently monitor the progress of the construction and attend the opening ceremony of the bridge on behalf of all the people who have supported my campaign on”

Commenting on these positive developments, Nida Hasan, the associate country director of India said, “With over 5,300 signatures, her campaign played a role in getting authorities to take time-bound and decisive action. Both Bidisha Saikia and Promod Borthakur have set a strong precedent for other citizens and elected representatives respectively.”

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