School Children & Safety
Voice of The Reader

School Children & Safety

June 9, 2017

Sir,

Children are back to school with new vigour and joy. Parents are happy with renewed excitement and at the same time, are also worried about the safety of their kids while travelling to and from the school as well as during their stay at school. Most of the year, children spend their time more at school than anywhere else. So, their security must receive maximum attention from everybody concerned.

TRANSPORTATION: Children are being ferried every day by hundreds of vans, buses, autos and two-wheelers. Not all of them are doing the job very responsibly. Supreme Court has clearly laid certain guidelines in this regard. Many schools have implemented them with regard to the vehicles owned by them. But there are problems with respect to autos. Children are loaded like potato sacks and their bags hung dangerously outside.

The auto uncle manages to accommodate two or three kids next to his (driver) seat.  There is absolutely no protection to these kids. Under emergency the driver is hardly in a position to save any of them with the bags and the children crowding him.  In many cases more than twelve children can be seen travelling to their schools. Less said the better about other road users like office-goers, college students, with their scant regard to rules of the road.   Everybody is in a hurry.

A lot of talk is done about autos to be painted yellow, with the legend “SCHOOL CHILDREN” to be boldly written and a yellow flag to be carried to warn other vehicle drivers but nothing is done.

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PARENTS: I discussed this issue with some of the parents and asked why they ignore the safety of their own children. They said that since both of them go to work before the child leaves for school they are not free to escort the child to where the school bus can pick up the child. They prefer the auto (bus is expensive) as he picks up the child at the doorstep and drops back, with the neighbour or somebody else (a maid) in charge. I have also talked to the auto drivers. They very honestly say that it is their livelihood. They cannot make more trips in the limited time. Whom do we blame?

– Prof. K.V. Satyan, Camp: McKinney,  Texa, 2.6.2017

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