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Parents, students still bet on private vans

Bangalore, June 20, 2013, DHNS:

Transport tangle: Standoff enters third day, no end in sight

No respite: Parents take their children back home after school hours. DH Photos

In the standoff between the striking drivers’ union and the government, it is the voice of the schoolchildren that is apparently not being heard.

“The schools, parents, the government and the drivers’ union are all responsible for the situation reaching such a stage. They now have to come forward, discuss and resolve the issue as soon as possible to prevent children from being affected,” said traffic expert, M N Sreehari.

Class V students of St Joseph Boys High School, Cyril and Stephen who stay in Vijayanagar, Udaith in Rajajinagar and Prajwal in Banaswadi have been travelling by private vans for a few years now. Waiting outside their school to be picked up by their parents for a change, they do not bat an eyelid to show their disdain for private carpools. The often quoted reasons emerge. “It is very congested and too many are packed in a vehicle,” said Udaith. “We have to change vehicles many times and as a result end up reaching home late,” said Cyril. They, however, realise that it is the best possible means to come to school. “Our parents cannot drop us to school daily as they have work,” said a precocious Cyril.

According to Sreehari, school managements should also have come forward to help ease the situation but they have not. “If the drivers’ union has a problem with the law then they should try and resolve the matter by going to the courts and without disturbing schoolchildren. It is these children who are suffering for no fault of theirs,” he said.

A number of parents have voiced their support for the private drivers citing the convenience that is attached with the service. “My wife and I are working and for the past ten years the private van service has ferried my daughter safely. The van service is convenient as it provides service at one’s doorstep and is trustworthy too,” said Srinivas, whose two daughters, Anusha and Inchara study at Stella Mary’s school.

Soumik, a student of Class 12 at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School lives on Bannerghatta Road and has been forced to take the auto since the strike along with his brother who too studies in the same school. “No doubt, the private vans are very uncomfortable. However, we live where there are not many public vehicles and therefore need vans. Despite the bad condition of private vans I would not mind travelling in them provided they are made comfortable and safe for us,” he said.


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