Indian schoolgirls dragging their broken-down bus out of the mud inspires others round world

Charlotte England
Indian schoolgirls drag a broken down bus uphill in Manipur: Twitter

A photograph of Indian schoolgirls dragging a bus uphill in slippery mud after it broke down has gone viral, with Twitter users citing it as an example of true “girl power”.

The teenagers from Manipur, in north-east India, were returning from a school trip to Loktak Lake when the bus reportedly got stuck in thick mud.

At least two dozen teenagers in traditional dress can be seen in the picture heaving the large vehicle up a steep incline using a thick rope.

The girls are believed to be students of Waikhomani Girls' College, near the city of Imphal, close to the Myanmar border.

An image of the feat was first shared by Twitter user Lawai BemBem, a women's rights activist based in Manipur. Their post has been retweeted 3,400 times and liked nearly 4,000 times in two days.

Many people praised the girls, “saluting their courage” in an “adverse situation”, and describing them as "empowered women" who prove “nothing is impossible”.

A few users were sceptical of the image's authenticity, asking why the girls were not facing the other way to pull the bus uphill, as if in a tug-of-war.

Others asked where the rope had come from. However roads in Manipur are notoriously poor, so it is likely the bus driver had come prepared to get stuck.

Other commenters questioned why the state government could not build a better road to the lake, which is a major tourist attraction in the region, billed as the world's only floating national park.

According to local media reports, Manipur has been hit by a series of road accidents recently, with over 19 people killed and 44 injured in March alone.

The monsoon season is due to start next month, likely making the situation worse.