Mandi Ahmedgarh, Feb 7
Owners and managers at various educational institutes and transport contractors are finding it difficult to implement the government guidelines on the safety of students while they travel between their homes and institutions.
Appointing women attendants has become an uphill task for educational institutes as there are few takers for the job of a woman attendant in the Malwa belt.
Social stigma and unavailability of suitable educated candidates are being cited as some of the major reasons for non-implementation of the orders. Now, the traffic wing of the police assert that they have started initiating action against violators.
Investigations reveal that hiring women attendants or conductors for vehicles ferrying girl students has always been an uphill task for the majority of educational institutes of the area.
While girls and women of middle-class families consider it a social stigma to work as a bus attendant or a conductor along with other male employees, women from poor families, who really need a livelihood find it unmanageable as the job requires them to leave their houses early in the morning.
A poor woman of Dehliz Road said she was in need of a job and was ready to work as an attendant in a bus. But she could not do so for fear of social stigma as male members of her community would not accept her sitting with drivers and conductors during idle hours of the day.
Jarnail Singh, a transporter providing buses to educational institutions, said it was very difficult to appoint matriculate women to work as attendants or conductors on a regular basis. “Those available for the job do not have the required qualifications and those who fulfill the conditions are not willing to take up the job as it is ‘odd’ according to them,” said the transporter.
Traffic wing in-charge Karanjit Singh Jeji said he had been coordinating with authorities at various institutions and impressed upon them to follow guidelines of the Safe Vahan Scheme in letter and spirit. “Having failed to persuade them in a normal way, we have started challaning those vehicles which ferry girl students without a woman attendant,” said Jeji.
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