After Santa Claus, Yamraj And Chitragupta Come To Gurugram To Teach A Lesson On Road Safety
New Delhi: ‘Ravan bhi helmet nahi pehnta tha, main bhi pehenuga’, says Yamraj (believed to the god of death, in Hindu religion). Then Chitragupta (Yamraj’s deputy) retorts, “Ravan had 10 heads and you have only one. Without a helmet you can lose your life.”
Though Yamraj and Chitragupta have not descended from the heavens, they are here on a special mission, to make people aware about various aspects of road safety through nukkad natak (street play). They are part of a 15-day initiative launched by Gurugram Traffic Police in collaboration with auto major Maruti Suzuki recently, as part of the Gurugram’s road safety campaign – Sabhya Road Bhavya Gurugram, which will continue till February 10.
The play titled ‘Suraksha Hati, Durghatna Ghati’ has two major characters, Yamraj and Chitragupta. Through their humorous banter the messenger of death (Yamraj and Chitragupta) and the common man, the message is spread about how one can avoid road fatalities by practising simple road safety rules like, don’t drink and drive, always wear a seat belt and helmet while driving, follow traffic rules.
The Gurugram police have identified 30 prime locations including schools, malls, colleges, markets and metro stations for these street plays to be performed. As of now, the play has been performed at places like Cyber Park, Cyber City, Huda City Center metro station, Sikandarpur and many more.
The team has performed this play at schools to teach younger generation and this particular scene stroked a right cord. A 5-year-old student, whose father drops him at school daily, took this scene along with the message to home and asked his father to wear a helmet. The boy forced his father to purchase a helmet and wear it regularly else he will not go to school with him, says Seema Rajput Verma, Founder of DVnity Serves, CSR Organisation.
Ms Verma further explains the reason behind performing play at schools and says,
The idea behind taking the message of road safety to schools is to make younger generation a part of it. If kids will understand and practise something then they will make their parents follow the same path.
Another scene in the play that take a satirical view of the society we live in, where people ignore the road mishaps and watch as victims bleed to death even in broad daylight, waiting for an urgent medical attention. The scene shows an accident victim lying on a road, unattended and instead of helping, people come and take selfie. The scene is followed by a popular old Hindi song ‘Dekh tere sansar ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwan, kitna badal gaya insaan.’(Look at the condition of this world, oh creator! This is what people have become.)
The idea behind presenting a play with a touch of comedy is to educate and not bore them by just telling that one should do this or one should do that. When we see someone not following the rule, we fine them, but obviously that is not enough. Habitual defaulters need to be taught in a different way and for that we have started this campaign. The play also covers the aspect of dangers associated with drink driving, says Deepak Gehlawat, DCP Traffic, Gurugram.
Along with performing the play and asking individuals to follow road safety rules, the team interacts with the audience by showing them different road signs and asking them about it. The motive behind this is to educate people about common and crucial road safety signs.
We hold a card having a road sign on it, say, no parking. We ask what this sign is called and what does it imply. People will follow road safety signs only when they are aware about it. So, this activity is done to educate individuals, especially kids about road safety signs, says Deepak, coordinator of the play.
This is not the first time Gurugram has come up with such an innovative way to promote road safety. Last year, during Chirstmas, dressed up as Santa Claus, Road Safety Officers along with Gurugram Traffic Personnel delivered the message of road safety to drivers, and sought pledges from them not to drink and drive.
The initiative is about making people realise the importance of reaching home safely. It is completely fine to reach 5-10 minutes late than meeting an accident and in turn losing your life, says DCP Deepak.