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The tragic death of four tiny school children in Mumbai brings to fore once more the terrifying reality of the safety of our children and the alarming conditions prevailing in our cities. The illogical school system compels parents to send their wards to faraway schools. The absence of safe school transport forces then to take recourse to whatever is available and the greed of transporters on the look out for a quick buck makes the journey to school one fraught with danger. A vicious circle no one can truly break.

I have seen many children climb into potential death traps every morning as vans propelled y cooking gas cylinders abound in our city. Little Kiran is one of them. It is true that her family did try the school bus but the route was so long and the stop so far away from her home that they soon fell for the easier option: the school van! It fetched her from her door step and droped back home and was a tad cheaper too!

What alarms me is the way our education system is heading. A safe option is always a neighborhood school and that can only happen if and when the government school system is reinforced and becomes a viable option for a larger segment of society. But sadly it is quite the contrary that is happening as more and more parents are opting for the now mushrooming private schools. Somehow the fact that free education is a constitutional right seems to have been lost in translation.

How many more deaths will it take for us to finally wake up.