KOCHI: Classrooms, libraries and other school-related infrastructure inside a KSRTC bus? Yes, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is now providing students an opportunity to experience learning in a different atmosphere while giving its out-of-service buses a lease of life.
Recently, a KSRTC donated a bus to the department of computational biology and bioinformatics at Kerala University’s Kariavattom campus. It will be converted into a classroom for the students of the department. “After receiving requests from two schools, we donated a bus each to them. One of the schools is planning to use it as a classroom. The other will be giving the bus a makeover to convert it into a library,” KSRTC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Biju Prabhakar told TNIE.
Terming it a welcome initiative, he said it can take off if some government agency puts in a request. “We are very much interested in initiatives that are beneficial to society,” he said. Pointing out the success of another bus conversion initiative — ‘Shops on Wheels’ — of the state transport corporation, the CMD said around 50 buses have been turned into shops so far. “That was an initiative brought in by the staff. I just supported them,” Biju added. A KSRTC official said ‘Shops on Wheels’ — old stage carriers converted into food or grocery shops — are located on the corporation’s premises.
“To set up such a shop, the interested party needs to submit an application to the MD. Once approved, the buses are converted and rented out,” he said. Education institutions can follow the same procedure to obtain buses, the official pointed out. He said the ‘Shop on Wheels’ initiative was launched to help KSRTC tide over the financial crisis. “The corporation decided to collaborate with various departments including Supplyco, Kudumbashree, Horticorp and jails to sell their products,” the official said. However, in the case of converting and donating buses to educational institutions, agencies and organisations need to come forward to sponsor the same, he added.