Ajit Solanki, Associated Press
SAJANPURA VILLAGE, India — 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, shoulder deep in places. Parents or other adults sometimes accompany them on the 15-meter (50-foot) swim.
The girls put on their dry clothes in a small changing room, while the boys change on the riverbank.
The students then walk up to 5 kilometers (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, 25-kilometer (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, where at least 700 million people are living on less than $1.25 a day.
The Utavali High School principal said the students from the villages across the river are so determined to get to class, they have swum the river during heavy rain that made the currents more tumultuous.
The school is trying to accommodate them by forgiving late arrivals, and sending them home early if the weather is bad.
"We have asked for a bridge time and time again," Principal Rajendra Purohit said.
- Over 100 missing, 14 dead as strong quake...
- 5 things to know about the Super Bowl and sex...
- Search for possible survivors of midair crash...
- Rubio faces barrage of attacks in Republican...
- US adds just 151k jobs in January; 4.9...
- Pope's sex abuse panel tells survivor to take...
- Lindsey Vonn wins women's World Cup downhill
- Police think 6 Chicago deaths result of...
- US adds just 151k jobs in January; 4.9... 28
- Cruz tops Trump in Iowa; Clinton,... 22
- Obama pushes for every child to learn... 21
- Cruz, Rubio eye NH momentum as Dems... 15
- Donald Trump calls for Iowa election... 14
- Americans are packing classes in how to... 12
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul quits 2016 GOP... 12
- Once a bromance, now a brawl: Trump and... 10