Tuesday, January 29, 2008

R.I.P

I feel for those children who perished in the fire yesterday. This was breaking news yesterday with every news channel falling over them selves trying to bring the grief directly to you. I did hear one NJ (I’m calling them news jockey; they are no different from a VJ are they?) say that the people were discussing ways to see how this avoidable tragedy occurred.

Sadly when I was searching for the same news article, I found it relegated to insignificance with Bajjis’s 50% match fee deduction being the headliner. Anyway a cursory glance at the reports tell you that 11 kids aged little more than 8 years were packed into one Maruthi Omni ( they were not getting into any book of records mind you) for their homeward journey. What should have been routine ended up in flames due to whatever reasons that may evolve. My question is “Why treat kids thus?” This is not an isolated instance, every day I see kids packed into vehicles that are precarious driven by drivers rushing to and from schools. The scene looks very scary when you see the vehicle in question is often an autorickshaw. I have seen a dozen kids squeezed into the auto, sitting on the seat, a plank that is squeezed before the seat, the hand rails and beside the driver. Their schoolbags, lunch bags and water bottles hang outside from hooks fixed at vantage positions designed to hit every passing motorist.

Why do parents become so callous about the well being of their children? Why cut costs for their children’s welfare? There is another dangerous angle to these modes of transport, children are placed in the care of such drivers and they ride in such close physical proximity to the drivers to school. I have personally seen small girls sitting on either side of an auto driver on their way to school. Maybe the drivers take good care of their wards, but statistics show that children suffer abuse from known people. A casual touch starts nightmares for these innocent angels. November 19th seems so far away and becomes just another day in the calendar; an occasion for VIP’s and Page 3 types to do their social posturing and nothing else.

When will parents realize that by the time they react it is too late?

PS. Nov 19th is world prevention of child abuse day.

8 comments:

lemonade said...

shit that so sad,..kids piling up especially into an auto is a really common sight in chennai!

PurpleHeart said...

Exactly ! I was annoyed to see Bhajji conquering all the headlines when we have such tragically serious issues happening around us. Ignorance is a crime and if we are ignorant about the safety of the kids of our nation, there's nothing we could think about for a reliable tomorrow. People, please value lives, yours and mine !

Bubbles of FireWhisky said...

it is relly sad to see these kind of things happen... the odd thing is that even though there are safety guidlines put up by a lt of agencies tat provide transport 2 scool kids, d drivers r quite careless in enforcing them... i hope this dsnt jst turn in2 anothr statistic 4 d govt 2 stuff on2 a shelf...

RIP... may d families find d strenght 2 deal wid this tragedy

Mark IV said...

pretty soon the ricks will evolve to qualis's and scorpios... but the kids will be missing something...

i just hope there is no hanging out of the Qualis too.. now THAT would be scary

Still Searching said...

I remember watching a news item last year which told about the way in which school kids go to school in delhi, packed into minivans, the vehicles being overweight some times.. I think there had been a fire at that tiem too... dont know what can be done about this... at one point you want to use common transport so as to save time and fuel expense, but at the same time there are not safety standards for anything on the raods!

priya said...

We have laws in place to prevent these kinds of things (too many kids in one auto, having an attendant in every school bus to make sure the kids are seated, etc.) but we lack enforcement. The other day I saw 3 kids standing travelling on the footboard of their school bus! The school's phone number was printed on the bus and I called up the school and told them - no idea if they took care of it or not!

As to abuse - the question for all parents is how do they tell a 8 or 10yr old where to draw the line between good natured hugs and inappropriate behavior?!

Chriz said...

you are turning out into a social writer..

Gayatri said...

a very thought provoking post as usual! parents hear ye, hear ye!