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'Kids should be taught the difference between good and bad touch: RTO

Representatives from district schools gathered to discuss ways to keep children safe in school buses, at a seminar organised by transport officials and education board

Over a thousand school representatives from various schools across Pune district gathered for the school bus committee seminar at Rajiv Gandhi e-learning school at Shakar Nagar last evening.

Representatives from the education department and the Pune regional transport office emphasised the importance of forming school bus committees, and said that the local police should be alerted about any complaint against bus drivers and conductors, as soon as they come in. The officials also suggested the importance of educating school children to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch.

Officials of the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO), Pune traffic police and Pune education board convened the meeting in the wake of several cases of sexual assault on female school students by school bus attendants and drivers.

“It is important for the school authorities to teach the school children about good touch and bad touch, so that the school children can inform the school authorities if the school bus driver or the bus attendant try to molest them,” said Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) Yogesh Bagh. “Women can take care of the small children better, therefore the school bus must have a female attendant in the bus. Before the commencement of the new session, all school buses should have a female bus attendant in place,” he added.

A representative of the education department urged the teachers to do a complete background check on the bus driver and the bus attendant and they should have a minimum driving experience of five years. Narendra Vyavhare, vice president of the PMC school board, said, “The school authorities should do a complete background check of the bus driver and attendant and immediate action should be taken if any parents or students logde a complaint. If we have to put a stop to cases of molestation, it is important that parents also take the onus and check the vehicles.”

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