By Amar Srivastava:
“I want to live”, he said while lying paralysed on the road with three of his friends. The constant feeling of helplessness told him that everything was going to get over.
It was a bright sunny day, by the time it ended, few IIT Delhi students had lost their lives in a gruesome road accident. They were travelling to Jaisalmer to celebrate the beginning of their new lives. Nobody knew that a beautiful day would end up in such a scary incident.
Within a few weeks only, three other students from IIT Delhi died in a motorcycle crash. They had just been placed in reputed firms and had a promising life ahead. And there they went, singeing in flames, bruised, dead leaving no trace at all.
Going through these tough times, we were constantly struck by many unanswered questions that they left behind. We wondered – could we have saved the lives of our friends? Why are road safety and traffic management such neglected issues in India?
As we started reading up on road accidents, we found that one person is killed every four minutes on roads and the number of deaths due to road accidents are higher than any other major illnesses like cancer, etc. in the world.
When a person has a disease, he can at least try to get cured, but death through accidents is a case in which there’s no alarm. It’s just because of our impatient attitude and negligence.
The society is dependent on us, the youth. We are the present of the nation. If we don’t take the responsibility of preventing this ‘disease’, then who will?
These and many such troubling questions led us to start the Indian Road Safety Campaign, initially under the aegis of the NSS (National Social Service), IIT Delhi – and now an NGO in its own right.
After having lost our friends and acquaintances to such painful accidents, our sole aim is to make our roads safer and more accessible, and also to mitigate and prevent any such ghastly road accidents from occurring in the future.
We as a youth-lead campaign, want to target all the youth and children to join us and work for the betterment of the society. We believe that people of our age are the harbingers of change, and we’ll help them in their journey of bringing about change.
With a vision to reduce road accidents by half by 2025, we are trying to spread awareness. Being students one of the premier technical institutes we are also researching on technical advancements that can be made in road safety related equipment.
There are different domains through which we strive hard to achieve our vision:
Technical Internships: We are running a large number of projects for developing tools, and researching on various aspects related to road-safety in collaboration with various IIT’s and leading research labs across India. We develop software and projects, and brain-storm over ideas to solve the problems we’re facing.
Policy Internships: We send the youth out onto various locations across India and work on road-related issues in particular localities and try to solve it by collaborating with the government.
IRSC College Chapters: We collaborate with different colleges from all over the India. There are various activities like series of lectures and discussions on the various topics related to road safety, workshops on the role of first responders, Nukkad Natak and various other informative ways through which spread awareness amongst students. We already have 15+ student chapters in various such educational institutions like SRCC, DTU, BITS Pilani etc.
Competitions: We also organise various competitions regularly to spread awareness among the youth about road-related issues by igniting the competitive spirit in them which helps us in achieving high impact in short duration.
Field Visits/Workshops: A large number of practical demonstration sessions and workshops are organised in association with various hospitals to educate about skills such as the role of first responders in case of accidents.
School Visits:We visit different and celebrate “Road Safety Day” in different schools. We organise drawing and essay writing competitions, discussions on various aspects of road safety. These children also often motivate their parents to follow road safety regulations.
While working on the same we have been able to achieve changes at various places such as cities like Samaypur Badli (Delhi), Tonk (Rajasthan), Gangapur city (Rajasthan) etc.
Just because of all the efforts our interns put in, problems in these cities were solved. But we believe this is just the beginning, and we need to make all cities in India free of such problems.
“Life doesn’t have Reset button. Drive safe and be patient.”
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