Last Sunday, while I was trying to find the parking place for my car at the supermarket in the old Mahabalipuram road, I happened to see a 12 year old boy riding a Honda activa scooter approaching towards my car. On seeing the panic sign on his eyes, I stopped my car and got down. Then I saw a lady in the pillion who tried and stopped the scooter just opposite to my car. I was profoundly sad to see such a scene. I told the lady politely that, it was very wrong to allow such a small boy to ride a scooter at that age. Her answer was that she was with him to guide. The answer irritated me and I had to raise my voice and tell her that it was not only illegal but also immoral to guide children in the wrong way. She apologized and told that she could not manage him, as he was very adamant to drive the vehicle. I replied that whatever the reason might be, still it was absolutely wrong to allow him to ride and that too on the wrong side of the 4 lane main road. After giving her required advice, I casually asked her job. The answer shocked me to the core. She was a teacher in a high school. I prayed to God (not only) to save her son but also all the students trained by her! Probably she is the role model teacher & mother for future India!
It is a common sight nowadays in Chennai, to see small school boys and girls under 15 riding two wheelers without license. The scenario must be the same in other cities and towns too. I wonder how their parents allow it and how the schools turn a blind eye to it. Blatant violation of rules and moral guidelines were seen in adult population only, so far. Now the painful development is that, it has spread to underage kids too. People who were born during 1975-80 must be the proud parents of such kids. Probably they want their children to be advanced in learning everything! Otherwise how do we explain the presence of mobile phone on a three year old child’s hands? Why the society has become so aggressive to handle the modern developments? We cannot blame these children. They would be naturally attracted towards such gadgets, but it is the moral obligation and responsibility of the parents to monitor their children and guide them in the right direction. A new Indian penal code (IPC) section must be made to punish the parents of such children who violate the rules and compromise the safety of people on the road. Every day we read about the tragic accidents involving such teenage kids on the road. Yesterday, some young boys not only rode bikes, but were racing with them on a busy Chennai road, knocking down a poor servant maid lady to death. In a split second, the fate of the lady who is a bread winner of a family and the boy who caused her death changed to hell. Hence as a doctor, my sincere request to all the parents is to monitor their kids, not to yield to bad requests from them and guide them towards their social responsibilities.