Parents fear Dadar school children's safety

Mar 03, 2013, 10:00 IST | Kranti Vibhute

Due to road construction outside Dadar's IES School, children have to walk 200-300 feet from their school to board school buses unescorted

Parents of children studying at Indian Education Society Kindergarten and English Primary School, Dadar (W), are furious and fearful about their children’s safety. Since November 2012, the BMC has dug up the road outside the school and students have to walk for about 200-300 feet to reach the school after alighting from their school buses. The school was also kept shut for five days due to roadwork.

The road opposite the Indian Education Society Kindergarten and English School has been dug up since November 2012. Pic/Kranti Vibhute

‘Schoolchildren walk alone’
Aarti Kamble (name changed), mother of a seven-year-old student of the school, said, “It has put parents in a dilemma. All school buses are now parked at a considerable distance from the school and our children have to walk for a considerable distance without any school official or bus conductor to escort them.

When some parents approached the school principal, she said she will check with BMC regarding the completion of the construction. The school had also been shut for a few days just because of the road work.”

Another parent Sheela Desai, (name change), who child studies in the primary school, said, “Once, a child of class I was bitten by a dog because the students were left unattended as they walked to the school bus. The school bus conductors and cleaners are not always present with the younger students when they leave school to board the school bus which is parked far away. It is scary to know that our children walk the distance unescorted. So much has happened to schoolchildren in the past couple of months. Also, children often fall sick due to the dust in the vicinity.”

Students suffer falls
Principal Neelam Desai refused to meet this reporter when the latter went to the school in Dadar.

Tanaji Bhaskar, one of the owners of the school buses, said, “The students have to walk at least 200-300 feet from the school to board the bus. Our conductors are always around and we have also informed the school to send their peons to help us. A week ago, the school was shut for four to five days because of the ongoing construction. Some students have suffered falls or fallen sick due to the dust and grime.”

Corporator speaks
Sandeep Deshpande, MNS corporator of Ward no.185, said, “The BMC has dug the road since two months. If the roads are not repaired, the people will blame the contractor for irregular maintenance. When potholes appear on road, the people will blame the BMC. So they have to put up with the road construction. I think the problem must be solved between the school authorities, parents and school bus owners. They must take children’s safety into their own hands rather than blaming the BMC. I will try to get the construction wrapped up by Monday.” 

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