School adopts 'Safety First' approach

Security guard ensures that students take foot overbridge to cross highway stretch

As soon as the school and college bell ring, a security guard rushes towards the road to keep a watch on the foot overbridge to ensure that students take the elevated route to cross the busy highway stretch and not risk their lives. This has been the standard practice of the security guard for the past four years.

The bridge to the right side of the main gate is a regular route for students of several institutions under B A Mohiudeen Educational Trust at Thumbay on National Highway 75 (formerly National Highway 48) near Mangaluru to cross either way.

It has 1,500 students studying from elementary classes to PUC level who are largely dependent either on own transport or public transport with stoppages provided on either side.

A few years ago, two students --- Shravan and Usman Sharief of the school --- were killed in separate accidents while trying to cross the road. Shravan was mowed down by a speeding vehicle and Sharief’s bag got entangled in the hook of a bullet tanker dragging him into the middle of the road only to be run over by another vehicle.

Following the accidents, the school management decided to put ‘Safety First’ into practice and urged the then Union minister of state for road transport and highways K H Muniyappa to take up safety measures. A subway was planned in the initial stage, but was later dropped following hurdles in drinking water pipes connecting Thumbay to Mangaluru city. “Eventually, the foot over bridge fabricated with iron and steel was erected,” Abdul Kabir, the manager of the institution, said.

Kabir told DH that any violation on the part of students will be strictly dealt with. “Teachers advise parents on this regularly at parents-teachers’ meetings. The watchman will bring the names of erring students to the notice of the school higher-ups and they will be either warned or fined, that is too meagre. Some students who are not well or have physical ailments cannot climb stairs.  In such cases, the principal will give a chit to the students, who should pass it on to the watchman to enable them cross the road with his help without taking the elevated stairs.”

That apart, the opening in front of the gate, that earlier provided U-turn for the vehicles was also closed, in the interest of students, he added.

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