With the emergence of a whopping number of schools, especially private/public schools, the demand for private cabs/vans is at an all time high. In the present scenario where school kids, too, aren’t safe, easy accessibility for the students becomes necessary. Parents, nowadays, are opting for private schools to keep up the so-called tradition of “best of best education” for their kids but at the same time, they are haunted with conveyance related issues. This paves way for the not-so-safe private school cabs, which surprisingly are considered to be convenient than the school bus for the parents. They get carried away without considering all the aspects of the cab service and end up preferring that over school bus, which comparatively is a lot safer, if not the best. Seema Singhal, whose son studies in V. V. D. A. V. said, “The school is in our vicinity hence we did not secure the bus service. We however opted for the cab service due to the family’s unavailability to drop and pick up our kid on a regular basis.” When asked about the safety of her child travelling in a cab, she said, “We are quite familiar with the cab service that we are taking as many families in our neighbourhood have acquired the same service, hence I feel that my son is quite safe as there are other kids travelling with him too.”
Nowadays, the most important agenda for a parent is not only to find a good institution for his kid but also to arrange a suitable conveyance for his kid for travelling back and forth from school. Cab service also becomes handy for working parents, who, due to their “busy” schedule, inadvertently become unavailable to drop and pick up their kids. They painstakingly choose a cab service best for their kid as soon as their kid gets enrolled in a school. Sanpreet Kaur, a working mother of two kids studying in KR Mangalam World School said, “Since the school bus wouldn’t drop the children in front of the house that’s why I have a private cab for them.” When asked if she feels safe hiring a cab service, she too echoed the same, “Yes I think it’s safe as other kids too are present in the cab along with my kids and I trust the driver whom I’ve known for the past four years.”
While those who have secured bus service, have a completely different perspective on the cabs service. Damini, a college student, who used to go to school by bus said, “I used to travel to school by bus and now my younger sister too goes by bus. Bus is a lot more safer than private cabs as they are authorised by school. The school is responsible in the case of any mishappening and one can complain to the school directly, which is not possible in the case of the private cabs.”
Also, many unemployed and unauthorised drivers, who do not have a commercial licence, start cab service. Refuting such rumours, the manager of RS Tour and Travel said, “We provide cabs privately on the request of parents and tag with the schools too. We have to submit all documents in the school and take permit for the service. We have employed professional drivers and even though they have driving licence but still we get their verification done all over again.” There also have been cases of rash driving with the cab drivers as they are in a hurry to drop the kids.
At times it is also seen that drivers with eight seater cabs tend to stuff kids with 15 kids travelling in an eight seater, making some sit on the CNG cylinders in order to accommodate them. When asked about the same, then the owner of City School Cabs, a school cabs service provider said, “We have in all total six cabs. If there are kids between the age groups of 6-10 (those in class I-V) then in one cab we accommodate eleven kids but if there are kids in the age group of 11-16 (class VI-XII) then we take seven to eight kids max. But our cabs are never overfilled and we care about the comfort of the kids and believe in providing best of best services to our customers.”
Hence, be it cabs or buses but the safety of the kids do matter in both the cases and it should not be the matter of blame game. With the numerous cases that have happened in the past with school kids travelling in the cabs or buses, it becomes necessary for both the parents and schools to be well informed of the services that they acquiring. It is not only the school’s responsibility but parents too have to be careful when they are sending their kids to school in order to avoid the consequences that they might regret in the future out of sheer negligence done in the past.