Hate taking the bus to school? Try swimming! Indian students cross the Heran River to return home after attending school at Sevada village in Narmada District of Gujarat state, India (AP photos)
Hate taking the bus to school? Try swimming!
Lexile

It's a long, wet journey to school for 61 teenagers in part of western India. If they want to learn, they have no choice but to swim.

The boys and girls carry books, papers and changes of clothing in plastic bags or buoyant jugs as they cross the Heran River. In some places, it's shoulder deep. Parents or other adults sometimes accompany them on the 50-foot swim.

The girls put on their dry clothes in a small changing room. The boys change on the riverbank.

The students then walk up to 3 miles to their high school in Gujarat state's Narmada District. It's shorter and quicker than the alternative. A road with a bridge takes a circuitous, 16-mile route. There's no public transportation.

The students say the swim is worth it for an education that can help lift them out of poverty in India. At least 700 million people there live on less than $1.25 a day.

The Utavali High School principal said the students from the villages across the river are very determined to get to class. They have swum the river during heavy rain that made the for dangerous currents.

The school is trying to accommodate them by forgiving late arrivals. If the weather is bad, students are sent home early.

"We have asked for a bridge time and time again," Principal Rajendra Purohit said.

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COMMENTS (6)
  • Sarahh4-Sch
    9/10/2014 - 11:43 a.m.

    There are high school students that have to swim to thier schools in thier

  • Sarahh4-Sch
    9/19/2014 - 02:16 p.m.

    If students want to learn and go to school then the students have to swim with thier backpacks and thier school supplies. And they have to bring an extra chang of cloths.At least 700 million people live on less than $1.25 a day.They have asked for a bridge time and time again.

  • isabellawST
    9/25/2014 - 09:42 a.m.

    I think it would be very dangerous swimming to school every day, though it would be fun every once in a while! I think eventually the town will be able to build a bridge. Just imagine swimming in the winter depending on how cold it is. My question is, do they swim back from school?

  • gonza032
    10/22/2014 - 02:44 p.m.

    really that is not good that is bad really bad

  • claudiamercadob1
    11/16/2014 - 04:42 p.m.

    This is unbelievable. I think this cannot be possible but it also encourages me and makes to think that everything what I have is so valuable. Childrens opinion about what education means for them is touching. I think our Chilean children have to go back and realize about what education really means for them.As a future teacher I have been given classes to children, but they also look like boring and lazy. I really believe they do not take education into account.Whats more, they think education is the worst obligation they have.
    Maybe teacher have to face it with a better attitude and make students aware about other childrens situations in the world. For instance, teenagers always think they are the ones who have problem, but they are always worried about themselves and not about other people.They think they are alone and nobody can help them.
    I would really like to show my students this kinds of real situations that show effort, humility and courage.
    Education is the best weapon you can have in life.

  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    12/23/2014 - 05:20 p.m.

    I would love to swim to school because it would be a lot of fun. The car and the bus is bad because sometimes the bus smells bad and the car, you have to just sit in the chair until you finally arrive. When you swim, you can splash each other with water and also most importantly exercise. Walking is good exercise but you have to just move your legs and just move your arms. Anyways, it was kind of awkward in the picture I saw in the article. The kids had all their supplies, homework, books, and backpacks. Their stuff might be wet and they're surely going to get in trouble by their teacher for wetting all their school possessions. But I still like swimming ( even though I'm not good a it and I'm very slow ). There is just one problem. The water is freezing cold and I might get a cold..... ( I would like to swim to school in summer days because they are very hot days. )

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