When 41 children die in a road mishap, then we can probably compare such a tragedy to any national calamity that has been a part of the past and our instant reaction would have to be OH-MY-GOD, even if you are an atheist. This particular tragedy took place today in the city of Vadodara in Gujarat when a bus carrying 44 people (41 among them children, most studying in standards 8th and 9th) fell into the 60-foot deep Narmada canal with reports stating that the driver lost control of the bus.
The state government has announced a one lakh rupees compensation package for each of the victims, but there is truly no recovering from such damage. Sometimes life throws up situations that are beyond human control. And when our weaknesses (read children) are the ones affected, then every other thing seems very, very ordinary.
Reality’s harshness was belligerently exposed in this mishap, but the root cause of such life-altering events is us, we the inexplicably ignorant people. I won’t say that this particular disaster was a result of reckless driving until proven so, but India’s roads are as far from being safe as an Indo-Pak resolution on the Kashmir issue. Add to that, our attitude, craze for road rage and need for the thrill of speed play key roles. There should be space for them, but buses in public places don’t exactly justify the heed we pay to our needs.
The following is an extract from a Reuter’s report, where if I imagine the victim’s kin as myself, then the feeling is bloodcurdling. Even just the feeling.
“My daughter was going for her last examination today,” Bhikiben, one of the bereaved mothers, told Reuters Television.
“She was very happy that her holidays were to begin, but now everything has ended for her,” she said.
May peace be upon them.
[Image courtesy: Instigator Blog]