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Old 3rd June 2008, 17:42   #61
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The schools don't want to get into the business of running a transport company - they don't want buy buses, appoint drivers, etc.

Only if an entrepreneur can turn this situation into an opportunity...

Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
It seems to me that there is a market here for some private person to step up and provide transport. Or, several parents could go socialist/communist and buy a suitable vehicle and driver. All to get it done SAFELY. The Vehicle could be used for running errands when not it use or could be a registered taxi with the parents running that business for the cost of the driver and maintenance. Sumo would probably be good, maybe Versa, I do not know. I am not going to RUN the numbers.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 17:53   #62
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
To take his case, he has a car (his brother also has a car). Even if no other parents join the car pool, between them they should be able to alternately take their kids to school and back home.

Coming to time factor, he works as a lecturer in a college, and at most has 3 classes (1 hour each) to take each day. College starts at 10AM or so, while the kid's school is at 8:30AM or so. While the college is not near the school, it is not far off also and being a small city, traffic is not very bad. If I were in his place, I would have no issues dropping the kids in the morning and picking them up at 3PM or so.

In short, it is do-able for him. Maybe there are others for whom it is not this easy - in which case, some other alternatives should be thought of.

But this is, as you yourself put it, an ideal situation and you very well know that it is not how things work in India.

EDIT : BTW, I was talking from a tbhp-ians viewpoint (not the underprivileged, for whom options might be limited).
I beg to differ:

Case in point, you BIL is obviously well educated and as you put it, it is do-able for him. He still chooses not to do it. Why? Is it because he does not love his child? I do not think so.

Also, the underprivilaged can surely find a way to ensure safety of their children. Agreed they cannot drive them to school, but aren't there any other options other than stuffing them in a overloaded auto? Think about it.

End of the day, it all boils down to how much you are willing to put your kids before yourself.

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Old 3rd June 2008, 18:02   #63
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It was a disclaimer, Rajan, because suddenly I saw the topic veer to priveleged vs underpriveleged parents. And since I was talking about priveleged parents, I put that disclaimer in place.
And if you noticed, I also said "might be limited", not "no options".
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Old 3rd June 2008, 18:07   #64
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I have seen parents who do this, and also studies with people who came like this.
Most of them did not travel packed like sardines because of financial constraints.
It was mostly a lack of botheration on the part of parents.
For example I see so many people who can afford a mid size car, but don't have a child seat worth rs 1500 in the back seat. Is it lack of money?
No, its lack of sense, and a chalta hai attitude.
The same attitude which drives some morons to make their 3 year old drive and then put that in Limca book of records.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 18:29   #65
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Look, in my view, this is all defined by demand and supply. If people do not want this to happen, it will not. Since there is a lot of demand, this practice persists. Not only kids, at least here in Hyderabad, I have seen 10 "adults" stuffed into a rick (Share Auto!!) to go to offices over 20 kms!!! Mostly IT guys as well.

There are few ways to solve this problem, not mutually exclusive:
1. Safety Education: Teach this formally in schools/ colleges if necessary, but let ignorance not be an excuse. Put up hoardings whatever. This would be a better use of taxpayers' money than many other hare-brained schemes we see around us.
2. Public transport: Improve this. Trains which are more frequent, buses which are driven responsibly and all of it on time. Privatize these and appoint a safety regulator. Guess we have NGOs for animal safety which make a lot of noise, have not seen one for child safety. Maybe I am blinded by my cynicism.
3. Schools and Colleges: This is the biggest problem to be solved. Have more of these. Let market decide the supply of seats and of information/ knowledge. This will make it possible to reduce the distances to be travelled by children

Ultimately, everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions. Parents who are saving pennies by sending their kids in overcrowded autos are taking a risk. Maybe it will come off, but for people like Samurai, the reward is not worth the risk. So you know what value some people put on their childrens' lives. As I always say, where you are born is the biggest random draw of life.

PS: OT, but are bicycles so out of fashion? I remember cycling to school (about 5 kms) for most of the time I was at school every morning. Not advisable for the very young of course, but a great way to travel independently for children. What do you guys think?
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Old 3rd June 2008, 19:07   #66
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Why not hire a full-time driver for other driving duties alongwith this chore?
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Old 3rd June 2008, 19:21   #67
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Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Why not hire a full-time driver for other driving duties alongwith this chore?
I have time to drop the kid myself, I have been dropping him to the bus-stop for last 2 years now, and before that for 2 years to the school in Bangalore. If I am not in town, my wife or F-I-L can drop him. My wife will do the daily pickup, if she is busy, we can arrange for someone else to pickup. Unless there is a proper bus, we will keep doing it. In couple of years he will be old enough to walk to school, it is less than 2Kms, I used walk 2+ kms to school when I was younger than him.

If I hire a driver, he will have nothing to do most of the time considering I won't let him drive the GV or the Jeep.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 19:31   #68
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Off Topic:

IMHO it is linked to the way we value human life in India. For example, local trains are packed way more then the Auto mentioned in the pic.

Every day, 10 people die (on average) in mumbai local trains but there is no anger is public due to this.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 19:40   #69
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This has become a common sight nowadays...overloaded ricks with school going kids...i think the "adjust madi" attitude of people has got extended to all aspect of life!

Unless something goes wrong they don't want to think about it....

If someone has to be blamed... its the "parents" who send their kids in these overloaded autos...
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Old 3rd June 2008, 19:45   #70
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Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
The schools don't want to get into the business of running a transport company - they don't want buy buses, appoint drivers, etc.

Only if an entrepreneur can turn this situation into an opportunity...
Not just schools, even companies with transport requirements don't want to get into this - they would rather just outsource.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 22:52   #71
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When people say there are no alternatives they are trying to fool themselves and others. There are alternatives but it's a trade off of how much hardships those alternatives impose Vs the probability of suffering the consequences of the present setup.

We in India always choose the latter because our mindset refuses to see beyond the immediate (the scramble for gaining inches at the traffic signal is one example).

We have a lot to learn.... We will get there one day, we will get there one day.
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Old 3rd June 2008, 23:12   #72
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Default Nostalgia

Several years back, long before the bajaj RE changed life and looks of three wheelers for ever, yours truly was picked up and dropped off to school on a rick.

Me was the last to be picked up, was always hated on the onward journey. Of course, me was most loved one in the return journey, coz. once he gets off the guy/gal next will get more breathing space.

The bags went to the top - on the luggage carrier. There were usually 7 kids on the normal seat. And the driver hung a special seat from the err.. "b" pillar facing rear. That would accommodate probably another 7. A total of 17 or 18 students were on the rick. There would be a couple of them standing on some seated guy's toes, or sitting on somebody's lap.

Me usually got the driver's lap. One day, the driver asked "What will happen if I faint now?". I replied confidently - I will drive!!!.

Oh. So where are the brakes?

I point to the lever on the left hand side of the handle bar. Every time the vehicle stopped, it was pulled to the full extent. He pulls it, and vehicle gathers speed. (we are on a slope).

Agreed that you are wrong?


Now, what to do to increase speed?

Turn this handle (the left hand side, again).

He turns it. Engine roars, and vehicle slows down. I am confused.

I pester him for next 5 days for an answer. FInally, he relents, and points to his right foot and the lever there. He points out that his right wrist turns when the vehicle gathers speed.

And he finally points out that I cannot look out of the wind shield, sit on the driver's seat and reach the
brake lever all at the same time.

One day, the accelerator cable snaps. He puts hand behind the driver's seat and controls the vehicle. Me has to STAND on the left hand side of the driver's cabin. This was repeated several times. And it was such a thrill.

I am wowed. And vow to learn driving some day ....

Did my fascination with vehicles start then?
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Old 4th June 2008, 11:20   #73
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Even though we had 2 cars when we(2 sisters and me) were in school our father used to make us walk. My school was 3-4 kms and sisters 5 kms. We used walk for about 40-45 mins. Everyday rain or shine. Only if one of us was not well we used to get dropped by car. And we did it since the 1st standard i was like 4 then. The kids from the whole colony used to walk together to school and back. Back then the roads were a lot safer then they are right now.

Then around the early 90's the concept of autorickshaws started, we saw a lot of the kids taking the auto, packed with kids. One thing good about the auto's was in our city and state (Panaji-Goa) we have doors on the rickshaw's so we didnt have kids hanging out and the rickshaws were bigger then the RE ones, i dont remember which model but the front mudguard was like of a lambretta.

Since the kids walking to school dwindled down, our dad bought us bicycles. I got a BSA Street Cat and my sisters the Hero lady's cycle cant recall the name - it used to come in pink.
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Old 4th June 2008, 11:23   #74
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Originally Posted by PatchyBoy View Post
The price I pay for this move - I drive 23 kms one way to work everyday in Bangy's maniac traffic. I would rather endure the stress, than trust my kids safety in the hands of some murderous driver. Where there is a will there is a way.

There is no such thing as NO option. The options are there, we just do not want to take it.
I would call this another sermon with a real story to go with it. You could afford to spend 300 rs a day for your drive to office whereas we are talking of people who cannot afford to pay more than 500-600 a month for their kids' transportation. Every parent is willing to endure stress, but there are limits to monetary stress. Hope you are able to think out of your world.

Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post

the only preaching happening here is by people who think they are speaking for the underprivileged, by saying they have no option.
For the record, the people I am talking about are neither under privileged nor privileged. These are folks earning 10k plus a month & having to slog their asses to make ends meet, but they do meet. We can sit in the comfort of our AC offices & homes & make a judgment, but these are real people with real problems. I am sure many of us preachers cannot handle that situation.

Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
EDIT : BTW, I was talking from a tbhp-ians viewpoint (not the underprivileged, for whom options might be limited).
As you very well know Team-BHPians are a really blessed lot.
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Old 4th June 2008, 11:33   #75
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From LKG to 1st, I rode in school bus. Then school changed and I did 2nd grade in an Amby taxi that used to ferry 6-7 kids, then couple months of 3rd grade in an auto-rickshaw with 5-6 kids. Then I started walking to school, I was still 7 and the distance was little over 2Kms one-way. I walked to school until 10th grade. In 10th grade I was walking 8 Kms a day (2kms to school, 2kms to tuition), so finally dad granted me a Hero cycle, which I used until 2nd year engineering. Then I switched to city bus. That is my school commute story.
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