Do you know why these students pray before entering their classrooms?

Patna: Students of a government school in Bihar offer a prayer to the dead before entering their classrooms. The reason: The school is located in a graveyard.

The school is located at Kayamnagar village under Koilwar block in central Bihar’s Bhojpur district, some 60 km from Patna. A total of 248 children are enrolled in the school, which was shifted to the graveyard land in 2006. The school, which was set up in 1946, was earlier running from a local mosque.

The children are forced to study among the dead as there is no other educational institution nearby. But children first offer prayers at the cemetery before entering the classes.

“We pray, ‘O dead souls sitting inside the graves we offer our prayers’ and appeal not to harm us. This is our daily routine,” Nisha Praveen, a girl student, said.

According to the student, initially the children felt terrified going near the graves and avoided attending school, but they lacked options “We don’t feel panicky anymore. Jumping over graves and taking lunches alongside have become our daily routine,” she said.

Very recently, the children admitted to another such school in neighbouring Kaimur district were having recurring nightmares about ghosts and spirits who visited them in dreams, leaving them sick. This could be the reason behind the children offering prayers to the dead before starting their studies.

“Please don’t look at its location. Quite many of our students have passed from this school and are employed in good companies and government departments,” said Kushnuma, one of the teachers. According to her, in the beginning the children were reluctant to come to school owing to its location but over the years they have become used to living with the dead.

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