Barely a week after a bus conductor was placed under suspension for pushing a girl student out of a bus, a visually challenged student has come up with a complaint of ill-treatment by bus conductors
Every time P. Venkatesan boards a bus, he is scared. The first year visually challenged student of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, is not hodophobic, though. His fear is more about he being ill-treated by bus conductors.
Mr. Venkatesan, who was at the Coimbatore Collectorate on Monday to petition the Collector, says that his fear of being ill-treated began on March 4 after a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus conductor virtually pushed him out of the bus.
“The conductor of TN 33 N 2391 that was on its way from Salem to Coimbatore asked me to get out of the bus to meet an official at the bus stand when I showed him the national disabled identity card. When I asked him why, he insisted that I do so. When I was getting down he also handed me my bag,” Mr. Venkatesan says.
“When I again asked him why he was doing so, he did not respond.
The conductor took my hand to ensure that I got down at the earliest.”
The national disabled identity card entitles Mr. Venkatesan a 75 per cent concession in travel.
This was at 1.30 a.m. on March 4 and by then Mr. Venkatesan had already travelled three hours to Salem from his native near Uthankarai.
Left with no option, the Master of Social Work student called up the police control room by dialling 100. The police told him to get in touch with their counterparts at the police outpost at the Salem Bus Stand. When he went there, it was locked.
After struggling for over two hours, at 3.40 a.m. he boarded the next bus to Coimbatore.
“Since it was Monday, there was heavy rush,” he explains.
The harassment at the hands of the conductor, who Mr. Venkatesan has identified as Jayapal, has traumatised him, he says and wants the Collector to initiate action.
He adds that he was able to get the bus number and conductor with the help of a friend.
“As soon as the conductor pushed me out, I went to the rear of the bus, photographed the registration number and passed on the same to a friend of mine who works for the transport corporation. With the help of the number and the duty chart, he was able to give me the name.”
Officials in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation say that as and when they receive the petition, they will initiate an inquiry and if the conductor is found guilty, the Corporation will initiate action.