Paediatrician Rameshwar Prasad Yadav, a government doctor who has used his general provident fund and his savings to buy a white Tata Starbus for Rs 19 lakh, is the man of the hour. This bus is exclusively for women and provides free rides to and from college for girls of Churi, Pawal, Kayampura Baas and Banethi in Rajasthan's Jaipur district.
The doctor took this bold step after he came to know of the plight of girls from a college in Kotputli who had to trudge three to six km on a hot and dusty road where stones are mined before finally reaching the public bus stop. Owing to this daily discomfort, their attendance was being affected.
The 40-seater is a boon for the girls who hated overloaded public buses and harassment they faced every day. Yamini Chaturvedi, a professor of home sciences, recounted a case where a poor parent, was wary of sending his daughter to college unaccompanied. She said, "He would call to check if the lecturer had arrived and only then send her".
With the ‘Nishulka Beti Vahini' ferrying them now, the attendance of the girls at college has shot up. Aman Verma, a BA second-year student in Kotputli's Shrimati Pana Devi Girls College, says she saves Rs 40 and one hour every day as a result. "My attendance has almost doubled," says Aman, whose father lost a leg in an accident and whose mother works as a farmhand, reports Times of India.
However, the doctor says, "I spend Rs 36,000 every month on diesel, and salary of the driver and conductor. The authorities have waived the toll, but I still pay Rs 5,000 as road tax every month. I have written to the authorities to waive the charges, but it's proving futile".
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