Narinjara News, July 19,2016:
Myanmar Press Council (MPC) recently donated 100 pieces of life-jackets for students of Arakan State. The initiative was taken following seven students drowned in a boat capsizing on 1 June in Rakhine as they were on their way to the school.
“The life-jackets are meant for the students who have to use boats daily to arrive in the school. The MPC donated the life-jackets out of its disaster related funds,” said U Khaing Mrat Kyaw, a member of MPC, who handed over the items on behalf of the council to the Arakan State education department.
The State education department director general U Aung Kyaw Tun received the items on Friday in a meeting organized in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan.
“The seven students from Pho Ree Byint high school could have escaped from drowning if they had life-jackets with them. We appreciate the MPC for the gesture. We will distribute the life-jackets among the needy students. We are also pursuing for more such items for the benefit of the teachers, who always travel along with the students by the water way,” said the education department director general.
As Arakan is full of rivers and creeks, the residents have to use water ways for their movement, especially in the coastal areas. During the rainy season, the western State of Burma turns more dangerous for travelling due to heavy flood with tide & waves.
On the fateful day (1 June), the students of Gan gar village under Ponna Kyunt township were returning from their school in Pho Ree Byint village by a machine boat. According to the government officials, the boat drowned due to overload as it was carrying 30 people beyond its capacity (20 people). Need not to mention that the boat did not have any lift-jackets, which resulted in the unfortunate death of those students.