Every rider, driver and even passengers are aware that overloading a vehicle is an offence under Motor Vehicles Act. Besides legal implications, it may also turn out to be a dangerous brush with death. Despite being conscious of perilous consequences, many vehicle-users do not desist from accommodating more than the permitted number of persons and the acceptable load.

Two-wheelers carrying four or five persons, lorries loaded with huge consignments and tri-cycles brimming with goods are a common sight in the city. To top it all, it is very perturbing to witness some parents overcrowding their two-wheelers with more than two children.

Many private schools in the city boast of maintaining an ideal teacher-student ratio, individual attention to students etc. But, a recent incident at one of the popular schools at K.K. Nagar has exposed the show-off.

The father of a kindergarten-going child had dutifully dropped his son at school for the first four days after it reopened following summer vacation last week. Suddenly, on the fourth day, the school authorities called him up to enquire why his son did not turn up after the vacation. The shell-shocked man rushed to the school only to find that he had been leaving his son all along in the `F' section while his son's name was listed in the attendance register of `C' section.

The irony was that the teacher in charge of the latter section did not even take note of a stranger in her class for four long days.

Should a coach attendant for an upper class compartment help passengers in fetching food, drinking water and beverages?

Yes, going by the rules, the coach attendant also has to wake up passengers at their respective destinations enroute, say railway officials. But this does not happen on many trains passing through Madurai Division.

Soon after the train departs, some coach attendants either go to sleep or join their friends in other coaches. Senior citizens, who cannot run to refreshment stalls for food within the limited stoppage time, have to depend on co-passengers to help them out. Mothers seeking milk for babies also have to depend on other passengers since mobile shops or vendors are available only in major stations.

A refresher course for coach attendants to remind them of their responsibilities is perhaps the need of the hour. A chart briefing the duties of the attendants should be displayed on all coaches, feel some passengers.

Contributions from Mohamed Imranullah S. and S. Vijay Kumar