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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Mumbai cops register details of school bus workers for children's safety

Puja Changoiwala, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 25, 2013
First Published: 10:12 IST(25/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:16 IST(25/10/2013)

The Mumbai traffic police have registered details of 544 school bus drivers and 448 cleaners, as part of an initiative to check the recent spate of crimes against children involving school bus staff.

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Under the venture, traffic police personnel have been assigned to monitor over 600 schools in the city.

Senior traffic officials said that there had been several recent instances where school bus staff had molested students, a major example being the molestation of a four-year-old kindergarten student from a premier Juhu school in a moving school bus on January 15 this year.

The driver, Ramesh Rajput, 35, was later arrested and convicted.

This was the first conviction in the city under the stringent Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act.

To prevent such instances, a scheme called ‘One cop – One school’ was recently implemented.

Under the scheme, one school is assigned to a constable, who is held accountable for any issues that may come up in the school.

So far, 639 schools have been covered, said traffic police officials.

“These policemen have been instructed to keep details of the school bus staff, including their identity proofs, native place addresses, and information about their kin. The policemen’s mobile numbers have been displayed on notice boards in these institutions so that they can be contacted immediately whenever necessary,” said a senior traffic official.

Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said, “So far, we have registered 544 school bus drivers and 448 bus cleaners.”

Besides, officials said, the policemen are to visit their respective institutions regularly and sort the congestion and parking issues around them. They meet the school authorities at least twice a month to brainstorm on issues concerning the institution and periodically submit a report to senior traffic officials.

“Besides, the scheme has also helped us create awareness about issues like pedestrian safety, perils of racing, rash driving and speeding amongst the youth,” said the official.


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