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How safe are girl students?

Amutha Kannan
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Cheerful but: Is it time for a re-think on the part of schools on a suitable uniform? – Photo: S. Sivasaravanan
Cheerful but: Is it time for a re-think on the part of schools on a suitable uniform? – Photo: S. Sivasaravanan

Shobha, a Standard IV student carries a stretch pant / track suit with her to school on days she has Physical Education and Training (PET).

She studies in a co-education school that insists children from Standard III upwards to wear pants under their pinafore on days they have PET, yoga and other outdoor activities.

But, what happens when they have to travel to school by public transport, autorickshaw, van or by cycle?

Their normal uniform is a pinafore that falls short of the knee.

With changing life styles and eating habits, and lack of outdoor activities most school going girls are overweight and the uniform looks ill-fitting on them.

Safety of girl students in their teens in such a scenario becomes a matter of concern. Some parents whose children travel by bus say that their teenage daughters get lewd looks from male passengers.

With no ‘Ladies Special' buses during closing time of schools, girl students have a torrid time holding their load of books, the overhead bar to avoid falling and ensuring that their pinafore is in place.

Maragatham, who takes her 14-year-old daughter to school on a two-wheeler, says the girl finds it uncomfortable to sit on the pillion in her pinafore.

Autorickshaws are invariably overloaded on their school trips.

Under such circumstances, girls get piled on with boys.

Some even get to sit on each other's lap in the front seat along with the driver.

Daksha, studying in Standard IX, cycles her way to her school that is 3.5 km away. Most of the time she gets pushed to the edge of the road by two-wheeler riders or four-wheeler drivers who tease her.

She is sometimes forced to push the cycle on the pavement to reach school.

In all these instances, the personal safety of the girls is in jeopardy.

Are they not entitled to have a safe passage to their destination where they get groomed to become responsible citizens?

Is it time for a re-think on the part of schools on a suitable uniform for teenaged girls to keep trouble away?

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