Rushing past the roads in Cochin, we find many vehicles shuffling around with a growing number of daily commuters. Among them we find students gearing up to reach their schools; including tiny toddlers who may just be taking their first step into the doors of education. With the rising population in India, along with it expands the large number of commuters.
Some of the most highly active cities in India is Cochin, where, before and especially after the metro work, has become so congested due to the escalation of people who migrate to Cochin in search of jobs from every nook and corner of India especially Kerala. As we all know, a bus is a means of mass transportation while an auto is exactly not. Although, this is not really understood by some of the auto drivers. Every day, we find children packed so tightly with each other in an auto; almost 7-10 children in a go. This has led to a problem for the commoners as people who are going to work or people who want to travel for an emergency are not able to get an auto. The auto drivers just give you a plain answer stating that they have a school trip and just rush off.
Schools generally provide transportation facilities in which children can travel through. There are also other facilities such as a van or a jeep. We also find children who travel through the common bus and they push people around and settle down in seats whether or not there are any aged commuters. People do not find a problem as long as they have got a seat. But if they don’t, they tend to curse the children. They do not realize the fact that it is the parents and the auto drivers that have to be blamed for. There are also schools who do not invest in their transportation facilities as they believe that the children can travel through the public transport. But there are many students which travel through their “hired” transportation- the auto; in spite of the school-bus. The first set of people who should be blamed for are the parents.
The excuse they give is that the school bus is more costly than the auto. The standard rates of an auto per month equals the standard rate of the school bus per month which they do not realize. The only fact is that you get to pay monthly for an auto and for the school transport per semester which creates an image that the latter is more expensive. The next set of people who come into the image are the auto-drivers. Now these people, would like to say one thing when questioned as to why they take such rides; money. They explain that they make more money by undertaking such rides because the parents believe it is cheap while actually it is not which is known by the auto-drivers. Hence they do not take any other rides for the commoners during mornings even if you want to rush to the hospital as soon as possible. When one auto-man of a particular area begins picking up some children of the same school, the next one will also start picking up children of a different school or maybe the same. Thus it goes on.
These parents and the auto-men do not realize that they are affecting the lives of many. There has been many situations when even old sick people are not given a ride because of the excuse of the school rides. Parents must be made understood as to what happens when an auto is engaged with a school ride. This initiative must be taken by many parents collectively and not just one. They must arrange a proper means of mass transportation for their children if no facilities are provided by schools. The auto-men must also realize the situation of the rest of the commuters and co-operate and not just work for the sake of money.
Further, children must also be taught as to how to behave while travelling in a public bus. These are just a few initiatives that can be easily undertaken; but nobody is willing to. Why opt for 3 wheels when there are 4 wheels running around???