Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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school kids


As it is, we are finding it difficult to accept that all is safe with our kiddies when we bid them goodbe daily when they leave for school in their trolley, tempo, van or bus. Our fears have increased manifold when we saw the other day that a tempo carrying GHS students was knocked down by a speeding car and   the very next day a school van became a victim of a dangerous mishap when a Roadways bus rammed into it. Both these accidents took place in Civil Lines which is supposed to be less congested than the city interiors from where too boys and girls are picked up. But  what seems evident is that in congested areas  the children are safer because there is no scope for rash driving.
In Mahakumbh, however, the problem might not be so much of rash driving as of getting caught in a big jam. That is what should  be a cause for big worry.   Some might be assuming  that children would somehow reach schools in the early hours when traffic might not be on the higher side. This is highly debatable because arrivals and departures  in large numbers would be taking place all the time. What is more, winter fog may act as a bi hindrance. Even otherwise, during that period usually a cold wave sweeps the area and even normally, when the cold becomes very bitter, schools are closed.
I need hardly remind that according to official estimates, some four crore pilgrims would be coming for a holy dip on of the the bathing days. If the estimates proves to be true, won’t our city roads be jammed too ! This is  because  traffic in the city will be affected also. After all pilgrims will be coming by buses, trains and air and will have to get down in the city to proceed to Sangam. How will the children’s trolleys manage to squeeze through the heavily crowded areas of the city?

It would therefore be advisable to close down the children’s sections in all schools so that tiny tots are not put to any grave risk. It won’t be safe for the older boys and girls too and the authorities concerned will have to seriously consider closing down the senior sections also on the main bathing days. Let us be practical. If the anticipated crowds come, there will be absolutely no scope for children’s trolleys to move through the crowds. They may proceed on a snail’s pace. But by the time they reach the school—after several hours—they will find that the last bell has rung! And the return journey might be equally slow. All the time parents would be on tenterhooks. To be on the safer side, the senior sections too must think of foolproof measures to help senior students reach the premises unhindered.

lal bahadur shastri 

Can they emulate Shastri?

Many people  will oppose students going to schools on bikes and scooters. The experienced ones, who have been naughty in their youthful days, may argue that  these students will not go to their classes but will loiter about, rushing past girls institutions, blowing horns loudly and whistling and ogling.  They will come home and say that there was so much of traffic jam on the way that they could not reach their college and had to rush back through the jam. That could be a possibility. So either way, the authorities will have to decide what they should do.
Some are likely to suggest that the senior students should  be advised, rather coaxed, to walk up to their schools during the Mela period. The example  given would be:If Lal Bahadur Shastri could swim across the Ganga daily, can’t this generation of students walk through the city to reach their schools?  That sounds very convincing. But for that one has to be a Lal Bahadur Shastri. And Shastri was not an ordinary student. He did not cut classes. But there is another angle too. Our delicate modern generation, not used to walking even one step, will find it extremely difficult to walk to their institutions, especially if they are located far away. They are lacking in the stamina to do so because no efforts has been made by guardians to promote physical culture in them. They want good results and can send them to any number of coaching centres the whole day but not to a gymnasium or a swimming pool.
If unused to physical; labour, these boys are made to walk daily to school, won’t they fall ill?  And if illness requires immediate medical attention, who will attend to them?
The problem is serious. It cannot be brushed aside. When four crore people are in the Mela area, many of them would like to go about sightseeing in the city as well. A large number of them might like to visit Anand Bhavan or to have a look at Allahabad University and Allahabad High Court to say nothing of the museum and other centres of cultural importance. Won’t they throng our roads and make normal traffic movement almost impossible? Let the authorities ponder over these possibilities now and see how best they can plan a way out.I have my misgivings because the administration would then be too overworked to give attention to the plight of the citizens. But the citizens cannot be ignored too.

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