THE news of the death of five motorcycle-riding children, overrun by the train in Sarai Alamgir, was shattering. A lot has been said, written and broadcast by TV channels about it.
Lately, the Punjab chief minister was also generous enough to visit the deceased children’s families and announce compensation for them as well. However, one thing I was not able to know for quite some time was the fact that the ill-fated children were aged between 10 and 14 years.
Unfortunately, we are such a bunch of confused individuals that neither the TV channels nor newspapers bothered to investigate as to how come a 14-year-old or a younger child (obviously without a driving licence) was driving the motorcycle as one has to be at least 18 to become eligible for a driving licence? Who permitted the child to drive the motorcycle? How come five children were riding the motorcycle? I truly acknowledge Mr Sharif’s humane gesture but wasn’t he, instead of doling out compensation money, supposed to order an inquiry into the matter and suspended the beat in charge/DSP or the ASP (traffic) of the area?
Above all, what sort of reporting is being done? Why didn’t the media highlight such lawlessness wherein children as young as eight or nine not only drive motorcycles but rickshaws as well? In the West, it is far more difficult to acquire a motorcycle driving licence as compared to a motor vehicle. But in our country one can do anything one deems it right whether it is legal, moral, ethical or otherwise.
MAKHDOOM SAIF Islamabad