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I woke up to my 5 o’clock alarm. My husband was still working in his studio. I seized the opportunity to have a cup of tea with my darling husband early in the morning; usually a rare moment in my life! As my husband is not a tea lover. “O’ What a fresh morning,” I thought to myself and giggled.
Soon we both got engaged in our own activities. It was time for him to sleep after a hard work through the night. I got busy getting my elder son ready for school.
Though my son has somehow adjusted to the school transport yet there are few days every month when he nags me to let him be a walker as his best friend.
Today was one such day! But after a lovely start to my day I was not prepared to the emotional nagging drama of my son. Yet there I was consoling him, hugging him, kissing him, and trying to ease up things for him.
I was upset for a while. We walked to the bus stop, silently. His eyes were still wet. But suddenly that was not bothering me anymore, as there seemed to be a bigger problem.
The bus driver and the lady guard were the same as every day. I could not understand who the 3rd person in the bus was and why was he there? Where was the usual conductor of the bus route!
I exchanged goodbyes and flying kisses with my son as I watched the bus pass me through. I could sense the discomfort in his eyes as there was a new person in the bus, who was not in uniform, his hair was undone and he looked filthy. Also, the fact that there was no teacher in the school bus but only a handful of kids was enough to trigger my panic button.
More than my son now I was scared. This brought to surface the last year’s incident of a 4 year old child molested in the same school’s bus, by similar negligence on part of the school authorities.
Now, it was not just the question of my son’s safety but my moral duty to stand up to voice the carelessness on part of the school transport management.
I quickly wrote an email hoping an immediate action. It was to no use as I did not hear from the school.
My next step was to go to school and confront the transport manager about the whole episode. Minutes later I was in the school reporting the issue. I was surprised and taken aback when I heard the casual statement by the transport manager himself that he knew there was a new person in the bus who was neither a school staff, nor was he verified and was only replaced as they had a shortage of staff for the day.
This meeting lasted only for a few seconds with a slack reassurance.
Many parents must have been through a similar situation concerning their child’s safety in school.
Henceforth, this article is to bring in awareness to the parents and guardians of children availing school transport. Kindly tighten your grip on the school authorities for the safety of your child / children.
Considering the busy schedules and tired lifestyle we have all come to terms with, I would request all those reading this article to find a little quality time to spend with your kids. To know more about their school, their friends, their likes, dislikes and anything else that they might want to share. Be present for them undisturbed. Understand their needs and assure them to reach you if at any point in life they feel threatened or unsafe.
Our kids are our future but we can only enjoy the future with them if we are a part of their present.