Just this afternoon, I heard a young girl crying. Her parents, concerned for her safety had been calling her frantically to find out why she hadn’t reached home yet. The phone had rung out a few times, but the girl didn’t answer her phone. She was travelling in a crowded roadways bus from school to home. And even if she would have checked her phone at some point and seen so many missed calls by her father, there was no way she could have called him back. The phone was barely functional. Not all children have the luxury of sporting an iPhone, you see.
The bus stop from where the young girl boards the bus each day, is usually packed with grown men, who have no qualms about staring at girls little older than 14-15 years of age. It’s so unsafe that just a few months back, as this child waited for her bus, two men whizzed past on a bike and threw acid on the face of a young woman standing barely a few feet away. This child was so traumatised that she didn’t go to school on some pretext or the other for nearly a month. On top of that a man on the bus stop harassed her whenever her found her alone.
Knowing what I knew, I ordered a new phone, nothing fancy just a functional phone for the child, in the hope that it’d keep her safe. I wish the state governments in our country provided better public transport for school and college going girls. Is it really too much to ask to keep our children safe from perverts and all kinds of dangers out there? If there’s one wish, the Indian government could grant, I’d ask for safe public transport for young girls. Their safety should be our priory, for not all parents can afford school buses or private cars to drop their children to school.
Whenever possible drop school-going children to school.