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PARSA, Sept 4 - They suffer silently. Students as young as seven years have been enduring a special problem at a government-run school here in the district after teachers started puffing hashish, a soft drug extracted from the hemp plant, in the classroom.
Students of Shri Hansha Bahini Primary School, allege that their teachers are unconcerned about the trouble they face from the powerful stench of burning hashish and cigarettes. They also allege that their health has started deteriorating.
"My teachers smoke charas (hashish) in the classroom," said Kanchan Kumar Pattel, a second-grader, adding, "The stench is so powerful that it gives me headache, and I can't concentrate on my books."
Kanchan is not the only pupil troubled by his teachers. There are 24 others, who have been suffering due to the smoke silently. They cannot complain against their own teachers, but the latter seem unconcerned.
"Headmaster, Mishra Sir and the peon, all smoke in our class," said Rishi Kumar, another grade two kid. He was scared to say more for fear of reprisals from his teachers. "Sometimes, outsiders also come to our class and puff the same ganja and go away."
Innocent as they are, students do not like to inform their parents about their teachers' behavior in the class, lest it provoke the teachers. But they are suffering from the smoke their teachers puff in the classroom.
Shiva Shankar Pattel, a local guardian, who heard about it sometime ago, said he inquired about the matter from the chairman of the School Management Committee Brahma Dev Yadav, but the latter was not serious about it.
When approached, school headmaster Lila Panjiyar said the teachers lack separate staff room and have no place to smoke. He also said he could not force the uneducated public to stop smoking in the school. But when this scribe pointed at cigarette butts scattered inside the classroom, he was speechless.