Since the murder of a seven-year-old student of Gurgaon's Ryan International School last month, several schools have forbidden bus drivers and conductors from using their washrooms and entering the premises. In order to bring up the issue of 'mental harassment' that they have been facing for the past month, staffers of nearly 48,000 school buses from across the state, under the School Bus Owners' Association (SOBO), will stage a Black Day protest on Thursday.
About 6,000 schools from across India under the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) have decided to hold a similar protest against the government for interfering in their day-to-day activities and for not coming up with a fixed set of guidelines regarding safety of children at schools. According to sources, schools will put up black flags at the entrances and will also ask their employees to wear black ribbons. Similarly, SOBO has instructed their staff to wear black ribbons and place the flags on the rear side of buses.
Anil Garg, president of SOBO, said, "Since the Ryan school incident happened, we have been facing harassment from schools, parents and even the police. Almost all schools have stopped giving us parking space and have also asked our staffers not to use their washrooms. Moreover, parents randomly get into buses and start harassing us."
He further said, "We have decided to protest against the schools as well as the government. We will also demand a fixed set of rules for functioning of school buses. It's high time that we take a stand for our rights. Schools and parents cannot have a generalised view because of one incident."
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