Government machineries should take action against vehicles ferrying students to school without requisite permission, said principals across the city. Around 400 principals from across Maharashtra attended an event held in Mumbai to discuss the ‘role of a school bus’.
Speaking at the Child Safety and Caring Principal’s Award, organised by the School and Company Bus Owner’s Association (SBOA), teachers and government officials highlighted the importance of children’s safety. Awards were presented to schools, bus operators, drivers, and attendants at the event.
“We will form a committee, which will take action against any offences committed during transit. This will ensure the safety of children. The initiative will spread across the nation soon,” said Anil Garg, president, SBOA.
Garg added that the association has launched a website — www.sboa-india.org — for principals and parents to post their grievances. He said these will be redressed quickly.
Even as most schools offer to and fro bus services to students, several parents prefer to send their children to school by private vans. Principals, however, said these vans are often unsafe and illegal. Principals and management representatives said the regional transport offices and the traffic police must take action against those plying illegally.
Many principals said uniform rules are needed across the country.
“These vans carry more than their actual capacity, which could lead to accidents. Students may feel claustrophobic if they are crammed inside the vehicle like luggage. Despite our school offering a bus operator — who has been ratified by the authorities — several parents continue to use private vans,” said the principal of school in the western suburbs.
“We cannot complain about this menace, as local politicians are involved in most cases,” added the principal.