Ryan murder aftermath: Worried Mumbai schools pushing for women bus drivers

Crimes against students have increased lately. So, fearing their safety and security, more and more schools are demanding women employees, especially as bus drivers. After the Ryan International School murder case, schools have already beefed up security, but this decision of adding female bus drivers will help them gain lost trust of the parents.

A survey was conducted couple of months back by the Western Indian Automobile Association on the basis of which it is trying to convince the state government to make changes in its policy, so that women can be appointed as bus drivers. “Based on the survey results, we have asked the state and Central governments to change the minimum requirement of five years of experience for getting appointed as a school bus driver. The response was positive,” Nitin Dossa, executive chairman of Western India Automobile Association, told Mid-Day.

Even schools are pushing for women drivers, for safety of the students. Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri West, told Mid-Day, “It is always safer to have women employees in school. If schools start appointing women drivers, then it’ll be a big relief in terms of child safety.”

But according to the School Bus Owners’ Association, Mumbai schools do not have women bus drivers, as an RTO rule says that such drivers should have a minimum of five years of experience of driving heavy vehicles.

Anil Garg, president of School Bus Owners’ Association, told Mid-Day, “We have received a number of calls from schools demanding women bus drivers. In fact, three years back we had trained 22 women for the job, but it was of no use as the state transport policy has no provision for it.”


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