Blame game holds school children at ransom

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Buses not plying for want of conductors, students stranded

SRINAGAR: A delegation of the parents whose wards are studying at the Sultan-ul-Aarifeen School, Kathi Darwazi, have alleged that the school buses plying on various routes have all of a sudden stopped resulting in the children being stranded at their respective bus stops.

“After the government issued strict guidelines to engage conductors for the school buses, the authorities have adopted a dillydallying tactics to ignore the all-important issue,” Showkat Faridi, father of a child studying at the school said. “They should have well in advance recruited the conductors in order not to put our children at risk.”

Rather than taking a serious note of the issue, the principal, he alleged told us to hold protests outside the school. “I’ve an audio clip to prove the irresponsible principal asking us to hold protests outside the school premises.”

A police party from the Rainawai Police Station had been rushed to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. “It was after the assurance from the police that the crowd dispersed,” Faridi said.

“I have informed the higher authorities at the Auqaf on umpteenth times but they seem not to be bothered at all,” Principal of the school, Manzoor Ahmad said.  

When contacted Secretary Awqaf, G A Rather told Kashmir Observer ‘he was not competent to speak on the matter.’

However, the Secretary General, Deen Mohammad Hussain, giving a twist to the story said that the principal of the school was provoking the drivers to go for a strike on the pretext of non-availability of conductors. “This is a sheer ploy by the principal to earn an extension,” he said. “He is simply holding the children at ransom. He wants to bye-pass the selection process and have his own men appointed as conductors. ”

When asked whether conductors were not required to man the buses at all, he said: “We’re holding interviews for conductor on September 10 and hopefully, everything would be back on track.”

When asked would the buses no ply till then, Hussain said: “The buses shall be available from today and the children would have no problems whatsoever.”

“We don’t speak in the air and for the heck of it,” the Awqaf General Secretary assured about normal functioning of the school from today.

Pertinently, keeping in view the safety of children the government has made it absolutely mandatory for the private schools to engage conductors while ferrying children.

Some deaths in the past have taken place while students alighted from the buses on their stops on their own.  

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