Parents across the city breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after private schools and autorickshaws made an appearance after a three-day hiatus.
After the Karnataka United School and Light Motor Vehicle Drivers’ Union called off its strike Friday evening after negotiations with Transport Department officials, it was business as usual for both children and parents.
Although several private schools in the city were closed on Saturday, others who had to report to classes waited with a bit of lingering trepidation for the cabs to pick them up.
Pooja R., a Class 9 student at a private school in Girinagar, confessed she was initially sceptical if her van would indeed turn up. It did arrive on time and the relief on her face was evident. “Over the last three days I was travelling by autorickshaws along with my older sister. Now that the vans are back on the road, I no longer have to be worried about reaching school on time.”
However, not all students were as lucky as her. Suhana K., also in Class 9 and a student of Cluny Convent School, Malleswaram, said: “I stay in Basveshwarnagar and use the van regularly. Today, the driver was supposed to pick me up in the morning as the strike was called off, but he did not come and I had to make last-minute alternative arrangements.”
Meanwhile, union president S. Shanmugam, who chaired the general body meeting, said he had conveyed to the union members the State government’s readiness to negotiate whether cabs that were over 15 years old could ferry schoolchildren.
“We will continue to have a dialogue with the government. We hope it will keep its assurances,” he added.
Most of the 16,000 private vans and autorickshaws had stayed off the road from Wednesday to Friday in response to the call given by the union in protest against some of the conditions imposed by the Transport Department.
The strike was triggered after the union opposed the ban on vans over 15 years old and the high taxation on private school cabs.