The article was originally published by http://edtimes.in blogger Yogita Rathore.
Rakshabandhan is a festival wherein a sister ties a band/thread called Rakhi to her brother’s hand. The brother, in turn, swears to protect her. It’s a festival to highlight the auspicious bond between a brother and a sister.
It was a regular Raksha-Bandhan until Kavitha, a member of Parliament from Telangana came up with a brilliant idea. She gifted her brother a helmet along with the rakhi that she tied to his wrist. After all, a brother can only protect a sister if he is alive!
Showing her concern for about 400 lives that are lost every day in two-wheeler accidents, Kavitha launched a campaign called ‘giftahelmet’. In order to launch the campaign, she herself gifted her brother a helmet.
She later took it to twitter to launch the hashtag ‘giftahelmet’ for her initiative ‘sisters4change’. A video was uploaded from her account talking about the initiative ‘giftahelmet’ and the importance of helmets for road safety. The Twitterati quickly responded to the hashtag and showed their support.
Eminent supporters included the likes of Sumitra Mahajan, Nitin Gadkari, Saina Nehwal, Mithali Raj, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir etc. Famous sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik lent his support by creating a beautiful sand art on the campaign.
In return for the innovative gift that she presented to her minister brother, K T Rama Rao, Kavitha asked her brother to ensure the safety standards of roads. She asked for protection in terms of good quality roads.
In today’s time, when the festival has lost touch and has become just another attempt of enforcing patriarchy, it’s refreshing to see some people giving a different meaning to the festival year after year. That too a positive, encouraging meaning.
From brother gifting their sisters’ toilets to now sisters gifting brothers helmets. We have seen Raksha-Bandhan take a different meaning since a few years.
The ‘sisters for change’ website was launched as a part of the ‘giftahelmet’ campaign by the speaker of Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan herself.
Personally, I think it’s great initiative considering the fact that half the people in the country still drive two wheelers. This can also work as a reminder for those teenagers who think it’s cool to not wear a helmet or seat belt while driving.
Kavitha also plans to launch a few other schemes along with the ‘giftahelmet’ scheme under the ‘sister for change’ campaign.
Your Rakhi tying just got a new insightful meaning. Refreshing, ain’t it?
Let us know your support for the cause by sharing pictures with us, it’s never too late to gift a helmet to your dearest brother after all!
This post was first published here.