The hit-and-run case near Vasant Kunj yesterday has yet again put the focus on the rising trend of underage driving. Coming as it is after a similar incident in Gurgaon a couple of months ago, it has raised concerns over increasing numbers of youngsters from well-off families driving rashly.
Experts say this is because schoolchildren get access to cars and bikes, and when they get into traffic mishaps their influential families try to protect them with unscrupulous tactics. Says Gauri Ishwaran, principal, Samskriti Public School: “How you respond to your child’s demand for something as innocuous as chocolate can determine the future. If he gets what he wants by simply throwing a fit, it’s bad news for the future. Because when he is 15, this demand could be that for a car. How would you say no then?”
According to Dr Rajesh Sagar, child psychologist at AIIMS, “More and more kids are asking for expensive mobile phones, the latest bikes, cars, etc.” The trouble starts when parents actually give into such demands, he adds. The rise in such incidents has alarmed the schools as well.
“Meetings between parents and teachers see lengthy discussions on these subjects these days...we try to sensitise parents as well,” Ishwaran says. Some schools also offer counselling sessions to address these issues. But clearly, the real solution lies at home.