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True Story - The School Bus Called Shaktiman

The school bus which was more of a truck than a bus was run by the army free for all the children who were going to school from the army cantonment. This type of truck was called a Shaktiman. The name Shaktiman is also written in the front of the truck.

Normally a Shaktiman army truck is used to transport troops to hard to reach terrain. The truck had a hard top driver cabin with just two seats. The rear part is big trailer which can be made to a hard top. But usually it is left open or metal angles are put and covered with cloth material like tarpaulin. When the army wants to load items with large volumes, the top is removed and only the trailer is used as is. It was more of a transport lorry than a school bus. But we had no choice. It was free transport and not much could be demanded. See the Shaktiman army truck below.

Shaktiman Army Truck School Bus

There were one row of benches on either side inside the Shaktiman army truck. Rest of the area was free. Only the girls and small kids were allowed to sit on benches. The boys usually ended up standing for the one hour journey of ten kilometers to school and back home. The journey to school used to be real fun and every day, we used to look forward to this Shaktiman school bus journey.

The school was about eight Kilometers from the Army Camp. On our way to school from home in the school bus we would first pass the Army check post where our school bus conductor who is an Army man would go and write the vehicle number, the name, rank and personal number of the conductor and driver and the number of children the vehicle is carrying to school, in a register.

It takes about five to ten minutes depending up on how many vehicles are waiting at the check post. Our Shaktiman army truck being termed as a school bus vehicle, it always to get priority treatment. After we leave the Army check post, the road goes through the green fields for next one kilometer, mostly of wheat, mustard, cauliflower fields etc.

The farms were always being nurtured by some farmers and we keep waving at all of them from the open rear end of the vehicle. Some tall boys would stand in the front of the open trailer of the Shaktiman looking over the driver cabin. The ride in the Shaktiman army truck was the best part of my schooling days. I went to school in this Army Truck called Shaktiman for many years.

A True Life Story


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