Leopard attack spooks schoolkids, parents in Aarey Colony; attendance hit
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Attendance at five civic schools in the Aarey Milk Colony municipal schools complex is down by almost half, with students and their parents jittery after a leopard attack in the area last month that killed a 12-year-old boy.
The Parents' Teachers' Association (PTA) of Aarey colony municipal schools complex has written to the BMC demanding proper transportation facilities for over 2,400 students who come from 29 hamlets situated in and around Aarey Milk Colony.
The school complex houses five BMC-run schools — two Marathi medium, two Tamil-medium and a Hindi-medium school.
"Students and parents were already scared as the leopard was spotted several times in the campus. However, the death of a boy has triggered panic amongst parents who now do not want to send their wards to school, especially students who come for the morning sessions. We are helpless and we can't even force the parents," said Jayant Vaity, principal of the Marathi medium school.
Parents and school authorities say the school is located in a remote location due to which students and teachers have to walk over 35-45 minutes daily to reach it. "Students attached to the morning session are scared of coming to school and primary class students who come in the afternoon are scared of going back home in the evening," added Vaity.
The 90 teachers working in these five schools too face the same problem. Most of them commute by buses, and get off at the Aarey Colony checkpost, which is the the last stop. The only mode of transportation from there onwards are autorickshaws, which usually refuse to ply.
"Only BMC can help us now. Parents cannot afford to send their wards to private school. The road is deserted, there are no streetlights and no walls. We had written the civic body in November last year, but there was no response. We recently wrote again and will also meet the officials with the list of students and attendance sheets. I hope they provide these students transportation," said Anandray Mogha, PTA president of Aarey Colony BMC school.
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