School kids' life, limb at peril

Benniganahalli children exposed to intense traffic everyday

School kids' life, limb at peril

 
For, they need to cross the portion of the traffic-choked Old Madras Road, bang in front of the railway bridge here. 

Life looks a bit safer on the days when the lone traffic cop is present to regulate the traffic. But in his absence, it is a furious dash that most students make to reach their school. No wonder minor and sometimes major injuries are a part of their lives.

It is mostly lower middle class students from the areas of Udaya Nagar, Mahadevapura, Jyothipura, Bennaganahalli, Nagawarpalaya and C V Raman Nagar who study here.

“With parents, mostly labourers off to work quite early in the mornings, the onus of reaching school and returning home is upon these students,” explains Rekha, the school’s Hindi teacher.

Also vulnerable to accidents in the face of raging vehicles are students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, St Annes School and Vidya Saraswati School who are located on the other side.

But these students, particularly younger ones, are usually chaperoned by an adult.
With the stretch packed with vehicles throughout the day, crossing the road is not safe during any hour. However, the 9.30 am time when school commences looks extra dangerous as most office goers rush to office during this time.

One injury in a week

No wonder, at least one student suffers injuries in a week. “We attend to injured students with the first aid stocked in our school. However, some have serious injuries and we take them to the government hospital at K R Puram for stitches,” the teacher informs.

The latest victim was Class III student, Hanumanth, a resident of Nagawarpalya. He is not able to wear chappals presently due to the white bandage around his feet.

“I saw a bus stationed at the bus stop at the Beniganahalli bus stop and crossed last Saturday.  But as I was walking, a dashing scooterist drove on my left leg and I fell down.”

Headmistress Sheelavathy said they had repeatedly requested the traffic police at Indira Nagar to put in place a traffic signal and have zebra crossing markings. “We have even sent a written request but nothing concrete has come out of it.”

The cop is missing most of the days, states another teacher.  Her words ring true when one notices cop Shakthivel sitting inside an autorickshaw and chatting with the driver.

“Accidents involving children take place but they are very few in number,” he claims.
Meanwhile, Circle Inspector (Traffic), Indira Nagar, Rajendran claimed that he had not received complaints from the public about the issue.

“We plan to install traffic lights after the proposed road widening work on this stretch. Presently, we are regularly posting traffic cops,” he claimed.  The widening work was likely to take six more months to complete.  

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