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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:19   #1
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Default School Commute - Options for safe travel of children

No, this is not about a street experience with some auto driver. This is about the dangers in unorganized school transportation.

Last couple of years, my son used to go to a distant school and he was being picked and dropped by a proper school bus. This year we moved him into a nearby school and we don't have their school bus passing near our house. But we heard about an auto driver who transports kids from the neighborhood and asked him to come over. I was at work, so my wife spoke to him.

She: How many kids do you transport?
He: About 13-14 kids.
She: How many trips do you make?
He: Just one.
She: Do you have extra seats fixed your auto?
He: No, it is the normal auto rickshaw, no extra seats.
She: Then how?
He: I make two of them sit in the front with me, and 12 of them on the rear.
She: Oh, then I don't think we want your service, it is too dangerous.
He: (Clearly frustrated) Ohh! It is quite safe.You people don't know!

We don't even let our kids ride in the cars without wearing seat belts, obviously we don't know. No wonder we didn't want our son to be the 15th passenger.

But lot of parents do let their kids go to school in this fashion. Shouldn't this practice be banned, I can't even imagine how I can seat 14 kids in my SUV, let alone a rickshaw. And kids don't stay quiet in the auto, they keep pushing, pulling, ribbing, tickling... generally being kids. That makes it even more dangerous. When will this crazy practice end?

PS: My son is quite unhappy that he is not allowed to ride to school in the auto-rickshaw in this fashion along with his friends. For him it is a fun-filled roller-coaster ride.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:30   #2
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And these are probably well-off and educated parents we are talking about. I wonder how many people use child seats in their cars. Iv seen a tonne of mothers seated in the front seat with their babies in their arms, Iv even seen mothers holding on to babies while seated sideways on a bike. Its common to see two kids sitting on the petrol tank of a bike with another holding onto their dad from behind. Hmmmmm
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:33   #3
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Samu, you did a very good thing by not allowing your son to travel to school in that manner. Ricks are the most unsafe vehicles plying on our roads. Just when you were typing this I was also typing something on the ricks in my other thread which I just started. Kudos to you for taking a stand.

Life is what matters, and specially when its of our kids. Cannot think of risking their lives just because someone says its safe to travel in ricks.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:35   #4
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This is very common up in the North. Maybe not on three wheelers. People generally have fleets of Maruti Vans with the rear seats removed and put on school duty. Each van will transport upto 20 kids! Kids are being turned into money making machines.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:35   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khanak View Post
And these are probably well-off and educated parents we are talking about. I wonder how many people use child seats in their cars. Iv seen a tonne of mothers seated in the front seat with their babies in their arms, Iv even seen mothers holding on to babies while seated sideways on a bike. Its common to see two kids sitting on the petrol tank of a bike with another holding onto their dad from behind. Hmmmmm
I have seen a stupid person driving his swift many a times by placing his kid between him and the steering. Man, I feel so sad for the kid as he's not aware that his dad is putting his life at risk.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:38   #6
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This is the common scene in Bangalore and Mysore where people got paid more than they expected and they want their kids to enjoy and experience what they could not do during their yunger days. Bad attitude.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
PS: My son is quite unhappy that he is not allowed to ride to school in the auto-rickshaw in this fashion along with his friends. For him it is a fun-filled roller-coaster ride.

then how he is going now? by walk will be safe i guess..
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Old 3rd June 2008, 09:43   #8
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This practice has been often practiced in Pune too.

Sometime ago it was banned with maximum six kids were allowed per rickshaw, and Parents were the one protesting saying it costs more now there will be less number of children in rickshaw
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemanth View Post
This is the common scene in Bangalore and Mysore where people got paid more than they expected and they want their kids to enjoy and experience what they could not do during their yunger days. Bad attitude.
Hello, did I understand you correctly, are you saying my attitude is bad?
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Hello, did I understand you correctly, are you saying my attitude is bad?
Samurai, I guess he meant that people who allow their children to use such modes of transport have bad attitude! not you.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:07   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Hello, did I understand you correctly, are you saying my attitude is bad?
I believe he was responding to post #5.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:11   #12
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I can count 2 wrongs in your post:
1. Nobody gets paid more than they expect - they get paid according to market
2. Pay has got nothing to do with parents sitting their kids in their lap before the steering wheel. Its actually shortage of pay (to buy extra seats, bigger car) results in such behaviour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemanth View Post
This is the common scene in Bangalore and Mysore where people got paid more than they expected and they want their kids to enjoy and experience what they could not do during their yunger days. Bad attitude.
A Tata Sumo makes way into the posh IAS Officers colony. It picks up couple of 12~14 year old kids. So the total number in the Sumo is now between 12 & 14. The Sumo now gracefully makes way to a prominent school.

The question is, what are the alternatives?

Last edited by diabloo : 3rd June 2008 at 10:15.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post

The question is, what are the alternatives?
The other TATA - Winger, Hindustan RTV (School bus mode), Eicher Sykline buses. TATA Magic. There are many, just that "we all" are reluctant to pay that extra cash endangering the lives of our own species!

OT, have we ever seen "premium" schools having such a problem? I see big buses and even cars picking up kids. Not even a signle extra kid is allowed in the bus. Take for example, Indus school, Canadian school and TISB

Last edited by amtak : 3rd June 2008 at 10:26.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
A Tata Sumo makes way into the posh IAS Officers colony. It picks up couple of 12~14 year old kids. So the total number in the Sumo is now between 12 & 14. The Sumo now gracefully makes way to a prominent school.

The question is, what are the alternatives?
1. Parents should opt for a nearby school at least during the lower classes / kinder garden.
2. Parents should send children only in buses / tempo traveler even if it costs slightly more.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 10:35   #15
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There are 2 problems here.
1. There is simply no time for parents to take their kids to school & have to depend on the mode available.
2. Cost. Say the auto guy charges anywhere between 500-750 per month. If it were to be a van which would seat the same number of children, he would charge 1500 per month per child for the 14 of them. How many can afford that ?

whats the alternative here. I am not justifying the auto

Last edited by esteem_lover : 3rd June 2008 at 10:37.
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