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Why Is It Just The Government’s Duty To Contain Road Accidents?

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A few months back, when I used to live in Siliguri, in West Bengal, the residents of the city saw movable barriers being laid through the middle of the roads. It was done to make the life of commuters easier and reduce traffic. It was indeed a sign of relief; but short-lived. A few days later, we noticed that the barriers were being moved by the pedestrians so that they could cross the roads according to their wish.

Presently, I live in Kishanganj, in Bihar. It has been three weeks since the street light right in front of my house stopped working, and no steps have been taken to fix the issue till now.

These two stories will give readers two completely different facets. One where the citizens are at fault, and the other where the concerned authorities are the ones being irresponsible.

Let’s now see some recent facts and figures:

Source: Supreme Court Committee On Road Safety

Although the data shows a decrease of 3%, some states show an increase in the numbers of accidents. As of 2018, India had fewer road accidents, but more fatal ones.

What Are The Causes Of These Accidents?

Over-speeding is the leading killer, followed by overtaking, then driving under the influence of alcohol, and lastly, driving on the wrong side.

Causes of accidents on roads. Source: Times of India

The figures shown are enough for us to understand that most of the accidents take place due to the faults of the citizens. If believing these figures is tough, then let’s not forget that in our country, the hands of the people have the power to stop a moving car but not traffic lights, increasing bike’s speed and then performing stunts is considered to be a daredevil act, having bikes or car races because somebody has hurt another person’s ego by overtaking them is normal, and not to forget the ubiquitous attitude of “mere baap ki sadak hai!”(it’s my father’s road), because why not? After all, we pay taxes!

Apart from this, even the administrative bodies are at fault. Potholes, improper working or absence of streetlights and the most important, a below-average performance of law enforcement, are some of the shortcomings of our authorities.


What Can Be Done?

How many of us know that there are four different types of lines on the road?

  • Two straight lines without break.
  • One straight and one break.
  • Break lines.
  • Straight lines.

How many of us know what these mean? Certainly, not many.

As part of our civic responsibility, we can always enrich ourselves with the knowledge regarding the rules and regulations and abide by them. We can also try not to drink and drive, use cellphones while we’re on the road, adhere to prescribed speed limits, and not just whine about the problems that we face on roads, but also partake in bringing them to the notice of the concerned authorities from time to time.

As far as the government, the concerned ministries and the people are considered, it can’t be overlooked that the condition of the roads in India is much better now than it was a few years back. But is this enough? Why aren’t the laws being properly enforced? Why do people’s hands prove to enforce a law more stringently than the already existing traffic rules? Why does it take years for the potholes to be repaired, and why do they only come to notice after a mishap?

Technology For Safer Roads

India is responsible for 11% of road fatalities around the globe and aims to reduce it by 2020, but– owing to the existing rules and methodologies—this target seems impossible to realise. The country can incorporate technology to achieve the target faster and make people’s lives better, and road safety solutions and emerging technologies can lend a helping hand to improve driver safety and reduce road accidents.

Indore is the first city in India to use robots on an experimental basis to control its ever-growing and unruly traffic and recently, Roadeo, the country’s first robot was deployed to road safety and help ease the burden of traffic police on roads.

Having Safe And Clean Roads Is Our Right As Well As Our Duty

The first incident I cited in this article stressed the need for us to be responsible citizens and perform our duty in making the roads safer. The second threw light on the responsibility of the authorities towards the citizens. In both cases, the governing, as well as the governed body, is involved. Roads are an integral part of our lives, and every one of us uses them every day. We shouldn’t be in fear when we step out our homes, whether it’s the fear of getting late or of getting caught in an accident.

Road safety shouldn’t be a for concern only when we are using the roads. We shouldn’t complain about the roads, and then forget all about it the moment we reach our destination. Authorities should be more active as well. India’s road deaths are still over a lakh per year, which is costing us 3% of our GDP. Any accident not only breaks a family but also affects the economy.

Featured image via Getty


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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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