How An Online Initiative Started By Two Delhi Brothers Is Promoting Road Safety In Over 90 Schools Across India
- Road accidents are ninth leading cause of deaths in India: Report
- 2 brothers aged 16 and 18 started an online initiative to promote road safe
- 95 schools across India have registered for the online road safety campaign
New Delhi: It was in the summer of 2015, when a then 15-year-old Aarambh Saurikhia, preparing for his board exams, heard tragic news about his neighbour. His neighbour, who was in his 30s, died after he met with a road accident while he was on his way home from work. That night Aarambh wasn’t able to come to terms with the fact that negligence on the driver’s part took away someone’s life within seconds. After conducting an extensive research on why road accidents are the ninth leading cause of deaths in India, Aarambh decided to spread awareness on the same in a fun and interactive way through an online creative medium.
The 2015 incident made me realise how ignorant people are when it comes to basic driving sense. From breaking signals, neglecting seat belt signs to overlooking traffic signs, there is a lot that needs to be done if India wants to cut down on road accidents. It is unfortunate that not all schools conduct road safety awareness classes. If a school kid is being taught about what to do during natural disasters then why not teach them about preventing man-made disasters like road accidents, says Aarambh, a B. Tech student from the Lucknow University.
Along with his 16-year-old brother Manan, he designed a website by the name of ‘Sadak Suraksha’ (SS) which translates to ‘Road Safety’ in January this year for school students. The website consists of several educational mediums – from depicting India’s scenario via painting, an online test on road safety, inviting suggestions from children on promoting road safety, to conducting activities related to road safety. Students aged between from class 1 to class 10 can participate in the campaign.
The idea was to involve the future drivers of India. We sent out mails to several schools across India asking them to take part in the awareness campaign. After registering for any of the activities mentioned on the portal, schools will have to upload the videos or photos and a certificate of participation will be given out. More than 90 schools across the country have registered so far. The programme has started from January 11 and will close on February 10, adds Aarambh.
The brothers have also created two characters – Sadak Pappu and Sadak Suraksha. Sadak Pappu is a careless driver who drives erratically whereas Sadak Suraksha is a character who follows the rules and drives right.
Based on these two characters, SS invites storyline from students suggesting actions that can be carried out by the two fictional characters communicating road safety issues. The objective of making storylines is to convert them into comics, images, and videos/animations so that the message can be shared to wider audiences effectively.
A few brilliant ideas or activities will be selected and students from the participating schools will be made SS ambassadors. With prior permission from school authorities, the ambassador will carry forward the movement and conduct awareness campaigns in his/her area. To make the website more informative, the Saurikhia brothers have mentioned India’s road accident statistics and included creatives displaying traffic signs and basic steps to take to prevent road accidents.
According to a 2016 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, India recorded a total of 4,80,652 cases of road accidents and nearly 1,50,785 people died in 2016. At 1,591 cases, India’s capital city Delhi recorded the largest number of road accident deaths in 2016. The report also highlighted that if at this rate India continues to record road accidents then by 2030, it is likely to become the fifth leading cause of deaths in the country.