Should School Bus Staff Be Sacked For Chewing Gutka?

Should School Bus Staff Be Sacked For Chewing Gutka?

School Bus Owners Association, SBOA, in Mumbai has stopped employing drivers and other bus staff who consume tobacco. It comes at a time when the state government is taking measures to reduce tobacco consumption in the state. SBOA has said that in the coming three months, they will host workshops and keep awareness sessions so that drivers and buss staff can get rid of the habit. If they fail, they may consider discontinuing their services. Do you agree with them? Should School Bus Staff Be Sacked For Chewing Gutka?


- School is about children and anyone who chews tobacco or smokes cigarette will give a wrong message to students.

- People who chew tobacco or smoke cigarette can secretly offer these things to children making them addicted at a very young age.

- Change has to start from someplace. It will be from schools. The ban from schools will soon be followed by other industries.

- Learning starts right from school, and children are taught that chewing tobacco and smoking cigarette is injurious to health. Schools need to impart practical lessons in respect to this.

- The move will also help Indian economy. As of now, health burden on government due to tobacco is Rs 1 lakh crore while revenue earned is just 12% of it.


- There are many people around children who chew tobacco or smoke cigarette. Banning school staff will be of no use.

- Parents of many children live a life where they are a part of high society and chewing tobacco, smoking cigarette and drinking alcohol is routine. How will school protect children when their parents are addictive to these things?

- If today school management will ban school bus staff, tomorrow hospitals will, and then other industries will. It will become a challenge in society and can turn employee rebellious.

- Schools are private organizations and they should have individual rights to take decision on the matter. One rule cannot be implemented on all.

- Already there is problem of unemployment in India, and such kind of decisions will only add to problems. It would become tough for school management to find employees who don’t chew tobacco.

- If a person is consuming tobacco from years, it is not possible for them to give up the habit in just three months.


There is no doubt that motive behind the decision is fair. However, it is not fair to sack the employees just because they consume tobacco. There are many other skills required in a job. They should be on priority list, and consuming tobacco should come later. Such a decision will have a negative impact and can also make workers rebellious in long-term. The use of tobacco should be controlled but banning in this way can create problems in normal functioning of school buses.
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  • RE: Should School Bus Staff Be Sacked For Chewing Gutka? -Deepa Kaushik (02/25/15)
  • If this is a movement to stop Gutka and tobacco abuse in the society, then it is definitely an appreciable step to start right from the most vulnerable area. The transformation has to start from somewhere, and the school is the best place for the start-up of the drive.

    Sacking the staff might lead to unemployment for some, but, at the same time, those vacancies will be filled by some more deserving ones. It would be incorrect to say that the schools will find difficulty in hunting for the non-tobacco users. Not everyone in the society is addicted to tobacco. And the schools and the government are giving the existing staff enough time to quit their habit before de-allocating them from their position.

    Children are coming across many people, we cannot initiate a drive everywhere at the same time. But we can definitely start from the place which should be most vigilant. We are the ones who teach the children regarding the ill-effects of the addiction forming substances. It is not enough to give them the text to study and remember. Children learn by examples. We need to lead them by examples and what can be a better example than the lives of the staff and faculty members of the school from where they get to learn and absorb the values and virtues of wisdom?

    Hence, for a positive transformation of the society and a better environment for the future generation, we should try our best to help to this nobel drive. Rather than considering this as sacking the bus staff, we should call this as a drive to help these people overcome from their addiction and lead a healthy lifestyle ahead.