Jumat, 12 Juli 2013

A Child-(Un)Friendly Community/Nation: Part 2

Image: www.teo-eot.ca
Have you ever seen this priority-seat sign? When you use a Transjakarta (busway) or commuter train, you'll definitely find it. That sign means, we have to give a seat first to pregnant women, mothers with babies/toddlers, old people, and those who are physically handicapped. 

I started to think that something is not right with that sign, when I become a busway passenger. 

One morning, as I was on my very crowded bus, I saw a boy, maybe about 7-or-8-years old, holding a man's waist tight. I assumed, the man is his grandpa or father. He had to do that because he wasn't tall enough to reach the handholds hanging above him. 

Another morning, I got on a busway. No seat was available. Beside me, there was an 8-or-9-years old boy in his school uniform, holding a metal pole tight. No one cared to give him a seat. Even the doorman didn't do what he usually has to do when a pregnant woman steps on a bus. 

Then, the passenger in front of me stood up. I asked the boy to sit on the seat. Exhausting, he closed his eyes and slept tight. We had to wake him up to ask him which stop he desired.

My 5-years-old daughter had also a similar experience. No one gave her a seat while we made a trip by Transjakarta. So I had to hold her tight on our trip until someone in front of me left her seat because she reached her stop.  

My daughter was a full-price passenger. I'm sure, the first boy and the second boy were too. So, in my opinion, they and all of children, have the same right to get a priority seat as those four passenger categories.

Let's move to another public area. What about washbasins? Can little children wash their hands easily? Nope. In fact, they have to stand on tiptoe. What about the tables or chairs in restaurants? Yes, baby chairs are provided but most tables and chairs aren't fit to the height of our children. 

What about parks where children can spend their time to get close to the nature? A big NO NO. We prefer to build apartments, shopping centres, and other skyscraper that intended to gain high business profit.

Children are humans too. They are a part of our community. But, we don't include them to our priorities. 

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