Today, the wait for the school van was tedious. The van, a Maruti Omni in my case, is operated by a private owner. This service was recommended by the school authorities. My daughter attends a school that is a small organization and does not offer classes beyond KG. They cannot afford a bus of their own. So, they can only recommend a similar service run by an external party. But they are still kind enough to act as mediators whenever a problem occurs. The problem always is about money.
After waiting for 30 minutes, I dropped my daughter to school in my car. At the school, the authorities told me about the strike organized by the the van operators to protest the lightning inspection by the RTO in Banashankari and subsequent diktats on the number of children allowed in such a vehicle.
I have been blissfully ignorant about this issue of overcrowding inside such school vans. My daughter is the first to be picked up and last to be dropped off. So, I see her going to the school in an empty van. The price they charge is exorbitant. But this arrangement also gives me an opportunity to start my day at a lethargic pace.
I was relieved when my daughter named only 6 other children in the van! It is still crowded. But then, what if she has to travel in a general compartment on a train. It is better to get her accustomed to the little difficulties of life. Thus, I reasoned.
I also read the story on TOI. The RTO inspected the vans accompanied by the crew from TOI. Now, I wonder what was the motive behind this operation.
Was the RTO trying to generate public awareness?
Was the RTO trying to signal us to brace for a hike in the school transportation as the law is coming down on the van operators with vengeance?
Was the RTO trying to stimulate the local economy by generating opportunities for more van operators?
Was the RTO trying to generate more revenue for the government?