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Framing of guidelines for school transporters – need of the hour

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.
A proper framework and guidelines should be drawn up in consultation with various authorities to make these kind of mistakes and oversights a thing of the past. The association/ Union of these van services should take the responsibility to see that these steps are taken up at the earliest. No one can afford to expose the unsuspecting and vulnerable children to such unneccesary risks ever again. The drivers should be sensitized on the issue so that they can understand and appreciate their role in the scheme of things. Regular monitoring by the school authorities as well as the Union or Association with feedbacks from the students availing the services of these vans could keep the drivers on the alert and be a reassuring measure for the parents and guardians as well. Our children are our treasure, precious and versatile. It is for us to see that they are provided with the safest and best atmosphere we possibly can mange to, for learning and growing up to be responsible and successful citizens who will make our society a little more better.
They  are the future, to be nourished and protected. Everybody has a stake in their safety. Every single one of us.

Rinku Khumukcham

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. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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