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Schools must take onus for kids’ safety

The school bus mishap in Jalandhar that claimed precious lives of 13 children was a very painful incident (editorial ‘Children’s murder’, March 6). The ill-fated bus in this case was being run in flagrant violation of rules and regulations. The responsibility of allowing illegal operation of the ill-fated bus undoubtedly is that of the administration which failed to take extra care to see that the school bus plied in accordance with traffic rules, especially prescribed for school buses.

The concerned school cannot absolve itself of its responsibility. It is the duty of the school to ensure students’ safe travel to and from the school. Schools are required to pay special attention to check that all legal and other formalities connected with the safety of the students are fulfilled before outsourcing transport facility to private contractors. They must keep a check on the activities of the bus staff. Very few schools run their own bus service.

The parents must raise their voice even if there is just a speck of doubt regarding the physical safety of their children. Generally, parents shy away from raising and arguing over small issues, but it is important. The bus contractors and their workers must fulfill the moral and social responsibility of safely transporting the children. They can not compromise the safety of the children for a few bucks.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib (HP)


We have become habitual of accepting negligence and irresponsibility (editorial ‘Children’s murder’, March 6). Small buses and rickshaws are not safe for school children, yet we send them for our own selfish reasons. Small wagons are useful only in bigger towns, but innocent children have to travel to the city through the rough and tumble of village roads.

Everyday children’s lives are being put at stake. Neither the school management nor the administration is ready to take responsibility. Parents are helpless.

Due to the failure of the government in education sector, for concerned parents there is no option other than private schools. Private schools are using very negligent and irresponsible methods to make more money. This accident is a part and parcel of this culture.



The school authorities have very pertinently tried to shun responsibility by saying that the bus did not belong to the school. The authorities need to plug the lacuna. The schools must have full say in compliance of school buses and drivers and other staff must be employed after a go-ahead from school authorities. Temporarily hired drivers often escape responsibility in case of any tragedy.

SS BHATHAL, Ludhiana


It is whimsical that the school principal has taken zero accountability for this incident. Usually drivers especially of school vans are rarely trained and most of the times, these vans do not belong to the school. In such a situation, it is a tough call for the parents.

Such scary accidents have also taken place in the past but it seems no lessons are being learnt. We have to accept the fact that traffic rules and road norms are not taken seriously. Albeit, seminars and conferences are organised from time to time but it seems that such efforts go in vain. So, the thrust should be on giving practical lessons to service-providers.



Road traffic is a fairly good indicator of the type of society we live in and is enough for the receptive administrators to take suitable corrective measures in line with good governance. School buses carrying children are not ordinary vehicles. Whatever happens during the transportation of children daily goes a long way in forming their attitudes which is a part of the informal educational process. School administration has a special responsibility in this regard.


Rahul, the reformer

Rahul Gandhi, in his informal talk recently after becoming vice-president of the Congress party, exhibited promise and potential to take the country on the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi. He has articulated that the latter is his ideal and guru.

He has indicated his disapproval for the high command culture. He prefers empowerment of all MPs, MLAs and middle-rung leaders instead. This policy would have worked wonders in the beginning when our democracy was a fledgling and the politicians belonged to the genre of freedom fighters. Now, he will have to work very hard and against the tide for which he has rightly chosen the organisation, not power.




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