RDS 190704  School bus-1562169539316
NAT_140619_SCHOOLBUS-ARAMZAN 19 June 2014 Kids in the School bus in Dubai. (Picture for illustrative purpose only) Photo:Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Image Credit:

What you need to know:

  • Children need to be protected and cared for.
  • Schools need to step up.

You don’t need to be a parent to care for a child like they’re your own. I’m a sister to a six-year-old little girl, and I want to give her the world. So reading about the death of six-year-old Mohammad Farhan, because he was left behind in a bus, gave me chills.

Maybe it was the twisted paranoia, that usually lurks in the back of your mind, but I found myself imagining my family in the same situation. I spiraled into a cloud of fear but broke through it thinking to myself: “I’m going to keep my sister safe, I’m always going to watch over her and be there for her, no matter what.” And then it hit me: His family couldn’t do it for him, despite all the love they had for him. So how could I?

How many children have to die for us to realise that there seems to be a problematic trend here? How many parents do we have to keep convincing, that this was an unfortunate accident, one that could happen to anyone, but happened to you and your child?

We need to promote vigilance and education. Bus drivers and supervisors need to receive special training and protocol needs to be followed every single time they drop off and pick children up. Schools should teach safety procedures to the students, lest they find themselves in similar situations, with as much importance, as fire drills and school evacuation procedures. Awareness needs to be raised among the general public, on what to do if a child is found locked in a car or bus. Every bit of effort needs to be put to prevent this from happening again. And we need to be able to trust school authorities with this and contribute however we can.

We cannot have another child go through what Mohammad Farhan or Nizaha Ala went through. This cannot happen again. I hope their souls rest in peace.

- The writer is a junior social media community manager based in Dubai.