Tragedy born of greed

Tuesday morning’s tragedy at Jhumka has not only thrown the residents of Sunsari into a state of mo-urning but also shocked the entire nation. Thirteen pupils, all aged between four and eleven, were killed, and twelve injured, when a rickety tempo, laden with 27 children, more than twice its capacity, skidded off the road and plunged into the Chatara canal. The tragedy was born of greed and criminal negligence. What’s more abhorrent is the driver’s selfish attitude to save his own skin. Had he embarked on a rescue mission, some precious lives could have been saved.

The Moonlight Unique Academy Secondary English Boarding School is not the only one which has been endangering precious lives in their greed for filthy lucre. Such things happen more often because the government fails to make school operators play by the rules. The guilty school management, the owner and the driver of the tempo should be brought to justice, making them pay exemplary compensation to the families of the dead, and also to the injured. The decision of NPABSON to close the schools of eastern region for one day, of PABSON to close the schools throughout the kingdom, and of the management’s decision to close the school concerned for thirteen days as a mark of mourning can hardly convince the public that they are really concerned enough about the safety of their pupils. It is the duty of the government to make it clear by deeds that when it comes to human safety there can be no compromise.