Education in the doldrums at Panchthar’s Rabi bazaar

Laxmi Gautam

Phidim, February 4:

Education in one of the favourite tourist destinations of Panchathar district, Rabi bazaar, is being neglected with people more interested in constructing temples than schools for their children. There are seven government schools, including a higher-secondary one, in the bazaar, while there are altogether nine temples with more being constructed.

Moreover, while the condition of the school buildings is ever deteriorating due to lack of proper maintenance, the temples are ever glowing. Locals seem to give more importance to constructing temples rather than building schools for the betterment of their children, said Shanta Kumar Sampahang, former member of Panchathar DDC. Temples like the beautiful Sawargapuri, constructed at a cost of Rs 2.2 million with the active participation of Dr Swami Prapannacharya, and the Shiwalya, constructed at a cost of Rs 20, 000, dot this place.

According to the chief of the Panchathar Multiple Campus, Ganesh Bhandari, the trend of building more temples is not bad at all as it is the peoples’ faith in the divine, but it is also not good to neglect the children’s education. Bhandari urged local residents to spend more of their money on spreading education. “The sound of the damaru (small drum), shankhas and the ever ringing bells greet us upon our arrival in the bazaar,” said Raju Subba, programme presenter at Aaroh Music Arts Centre in Phidim. While the number of temples in the bazaar is growing by the day, the condition of the Durga higher-secondary school, established by former ambassador to Germany, Nawal Kishor Rai, is worsening, a local school teacher said.

Locals may have drawn inspiration from the great priest Falgunand who is known for his spiritual knowledge in the eastern Kirat provinces and is said that he conducted all his programmes from this bazaar, according to people there.