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  • Writer's pictureSriram R.M

An Eid Tragedy

Updated: Apr 14

On a random weekday morning, the clock strikes 7:45, and I am already late to catch the bus. I sprint across the streets of Pammal to see if the gods are smiling upon me, and as they always are, I catch the bus. A large, yellow metal tube of 12 tons, and not everyone can drive it. One needs a special license to do so. One that my driver anna has. I climb aboard, grab a window seat ahead of the younger students, plug in my earphones, and slip into a higher plane of existence, egged on by the sleepy, melodious tunes of ARR.

Long story short, for over two hours every weekday, I trust my driver anna with my life as he ferries me back and forth from college. And he has never once put my life at stake, even a little. If he did, lives would be lost, and not just the ones sitting inside the bus. While most of us at Sairam were worried about whether Eid was a holiday or not, an unspoken tragedy was unfolding in Haryana's Mahendragarh. As we chilled at home, a drunken driver claimed the lives of six children, seriously injuring 20.

There have been several questions raised, like

  1. Why was a school open on Eid, a public holiday?

  2. Why was there no attendant on the bus, as mandated by the courts?

  3. Why was no action taken against the driver for drunk driving despite repeated complaints?

  4. Why was a bus that did not have the right permits since 2018 allowed to run?

Cases have been filed against the management, and the questions will no doubt be answered, but the 6 children who died won't be able to hear lawyers argue in court about why a certain group of people decided to play with lives that were not theirs to risk.

This is but a consequence of many instances where we simply fail to follow the rules. Yes, every instance of drunk driving might not lead to accident; every permit less vehicle does not cause the loss of lives, and not every instance of not following the rules has led to serious consequences. But what we need to realize is that every time we don't follow these rules that are set aside for OUR safety, we take a certain risk, whose dividend we might not be able to pay.

Rules need to be followed; that's what they are here for, right? Organizations need to develop a conscience when they decide to gamble with lives that are not theirs. This article might seem like a bunch of rambling sentences, and perhaps they are, for I do not know how to react to this heartbreaking piece of news. For I am one of those who commute in an organizational transport every day, and I do not know whether or not I would have survived this long had a set of people decided they were above the rules. We can't do anything but pray justice is served and hope that those responsible are punished.

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