Chennai: Is your child safe in the bus in which he/she travels to school? If you believe they are, it’s time for a rethink.
Two incidents that happened on Wednesday in Delhi and Chennai have brought to light the callous attitude of school authorities with regard to transportation of children to and fro from schools.
In Chennai, a six-year-old girl student died after she fell on the road from an opening in the floor of her school bus.
The incident happened in Mudichur area near Tambaram in Chennai.
While returning home in the afternoon, Shruti fell down on the road from inside the bus as a part of the floor which had been repaired collapsed.
The little child was run over by a vehicle from behind. The bus was later set on fire by an angry crowd.
The management of the private school tried to hush up the incident, saying the bus was hired on contract. However, state transport authorities claimed the bus was registered in the name of the school. The police have begun investigating the incident and have arrested four persons so far, including the owner of the school and the driver.
In Delhi a 16-year-old schoolboy lost his life after his head hit an electricity pole while he was in the school bus.
The boy - Jaskaran Singh, a Class X student at Hansraj Model School in Punjabi Bagh - was leaning out of the window of the school bus to buy an ice cream from a roadside vendor.
The incident happened in the afternoon when the bus was pulling out of the parking area outside the school.
The bus driver, who was unaware of the incident, drove on for about 200 metres before he was alerted by a school student riding on a two-wheeler.
In this case too, three persons have been arrested - the driver, the helper and the owner of the bus hired on contract by the school.
Such cases, which come to light every now and then, had forced the Supreme Court to issue safety guidelines for school buses last year.
As per the guidelines, it is mandatory for a school bus to have a helper whose job is to keep a close watch on students.
But the situation on the ground remains far from satisfactory.
Parents need to be aware and watchful about the environment they are subjecting their child to. A little more caution can go a long way in ensuring that your child returns safely back to home.