Some few years back at an almost a catastrophic incident where 15 children were on the verge of being suffocated to death inside the van that was taking them to school should be an eye-opener for the multitude of van services transporting students for almost all the schools in the state, the unfortunate part is that people of the state as well as those in the government have almost forgotten.
Everybody knows that the school transporter render is immense, and for most parents, a vital one considering the limited transport facilitiesbeing provided for the public, which invariably leads to the only other alternative of undertaking the job of taking the kids to school and back home upon themselves, putting a huge strain on their time and efforts. Add to it the cold winter months and the long rainy days, not to mention the scorching summer, and the task becomes daunting for those of us who cannot afford a four wheeler, or to take out or synchronise the time to their schedule.
But in as much as these van services are becoming an indispensable part of the support system, unwanted and unwarranted incidents that poses danger to the safety of the children have been on the rise. The Union/Association overseeing the regulations and rules of these service vans are apparently more interested in safeguarding their own interest and profitability to the point of neglecting the basic safety norms and regulations to be observed-if they everhad one to start with. Treating the young children with more sensitivity and care and not as mere commodities of their trade could go a long way in preventing such mishaps in the future. The urge to pack in more children in the van which translates to more income for the drivers should be curbed.
They are the future, to be nourished and protected. Everybody has a stake in their safety. Every single one of us.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.