Haryana education department starts carpool to provide safe travel for girl students
Under the carpool policy, the Haryana government will reimburse the monthly travel costs incurred by parents or custodians of girls studying in state government schools.Updated: Nov 09, 2018 13:58 IST
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
In an initiative aimed at providing a safe travel facility to girl students, the education department has started a carpool policy under which it will reimburse the monthly travel costs incurred by parents or custodians of girls studying in state government schools. Chhatraa Parivahan Suraksha Yojna (safe transport scheme for girls), which came into effect last Friday, applies to girls in Class 9 and above.
Dinesh Shastri, district education officer, said that the initiative was aimed at ensuring that girls did not drop out of school due to safety concerns.
“The purpose of this policy is to ensure that girls get an avenue to reach school safely. We have seen that girls face several obstacles in reaching the school from far-flung villages and other areas. They are also hesitant about going to co-education schools. This scheme seeks to address that issue so that girls can continue going to school without any restrictions,” said Shastri.
The education department has already apprised different district officers about the initiative through an official circular. Hindustan Times has a copy of the circular. As per the circular, the policy applies only to those girls who live in areas where there is no senior secondary school at the proximity of three kilometres. Girls who have opted for science stream in Class 11 and do not have a school teaching the same at a distance of 3 kilometre will also be able to avail the scheme. Further, the policy will only be available for girls who have a monthly attendance above 60%. The policy will include vehicles such as SUVs, auto rickshaws, minibus among others under its ambit.
“The policy will encourage parents and guardians to make use of carpool facility for girls in their neighbourhood. We will compensate the costs incurred per student through a monthly deposit in the girl student’s account. Girls interested in the scheme can approach their school principals to avail the benefit,” said Shastri.
As per the provisions of the scheme, the vehicle and the vehicle driver need to meet necessary travel norms. A valid drivers’ license, vehicle insurance policy, and certificate from the transport department are some of the requisites. Vehicle carriers will not be allowed to ferry students beyond the prescribed capacity of the vehicle.
Education experts, however, said that reimbursing the travel cost would only bring a minuscule change.
“Incentives such as these depend on how people use or misuse these schemes. Financial reimbursements alone cannot guarantee safe transport. Safety depends on the larger attitude of the society towards girls. Societal attitude coupled with poor sanitation in schools makes girls withdraw. Change in mindset is more important,” said Latika Sharma, chairperson, department of education, Panjab University
First Published: Nov 09, 2018 13:58 IST