NEW DELHI: Concerned about the number of accidents involving school-going children, the national child rights body has written to the states and UTs to conduct safety audits of buses, autos, mini-vans and other vehicles used for transportation of children to schools.
In two separate letters addressed to the state transport departments and the state education departments, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chief Priyank Kanoongo highlighted the accidents involving schoolchildren in different states. “Most of these incidents are linked to injury/death of students on school transport,” he said.
Kanoongo said schools have reopened after the Covid-19-related restrictions, but they don’t seem to be following guidelines for safe transport. He told the transport departments to conduct a safety audit of school transportation vehicles and asked for a compliance report by May 31.
“It is important that appropriate steps be taken to prevent untoward incidents, where safety and security of children are compromised due to negligence of school authorities and inability to take timely action,” Kanoongo said.
In his letter to education departments, he said these incidents are primarily linked to school infrastructure. He said that other than Covid-19 protocols, there are other guidelines to ensure that children learn in a safe environment.
His letter to the states came in the wake of schoolchildren meeting with tragic accidents. On April 19, a four-year-old lost his life after being run over by his school bus in Gurugram. On April 22, a Class IV student, peeping out of the bus window, died after his head hit a pole in Ghaziabad.