He Quit A High Paying Job To Become A Road Safety Crusader In Coimbatore
Every day, for the past one month, S Ramasubramanian has been making the rounds of schools, colleges and offices across Coimbatore. Armed with a traffic safety manual, he goes from place to place teaching traffic rules, signs, driving techniques and first aid. He is also instrumental in educating people about the Good Samaritan law and why it is important to help an accident victim. His mission is to spread the message of road safety across Coimbatore.
My mission is to make my country an accident-free zone. But, sadly the statistics of road fatalities in India are heart-breaking. There is not a single day when you don’t come across a story on road accident in the newspaper. With 69,059 road deaths in the year 2015, Tamil Nadu topped the charts of states with most accidents. In Coimbatore alone, there are 5 deaths due to road accidents every day. These grim statistics made me take up road safety as my mission, says S Ramasubramanian who is now a founder of Dove Drive Without Borders, an NGO working towards the cause of road safety.
So what made this former finance manager from Bengaluru quit his cushy, high paying job and turn into a road safety crusader?
S Ramasubramanian’s Journey As A Road Safety Crusader
Mr Ramasubramaniyan’s mission for safer roads in India began long back when he challenged a clause in the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Act that levied a lifetime tax on vehicles from other States if they remained in Karnataka beyond 30 days. He went on to win that case. “I gathered a lot of support from people during those days and I wanted this ‘people movement’ to continue. That’s when it triggered the thought in me that I should address the issue of road safety.”
Soon, Mr Ramasubramanian said goodbye to his comfortable lifestyle and started visiting educational institutions, corporate offices and even individual apartments just so he could teach people to be a responsible driver or road user.
I knew I was taking a huge risk when I left my cushy job, nonetheless, I decided to go ahead with my initiative. What’s worrisome is that half of the accidents that take place on Indian roads are caused by people who have licenses. I wanted to educate them, added Mr Ramasubramanian who has been investing his own money into these road safety initiatives.
Until now, Mr Ramasubramanian has covered about 700 educational institutions. His sessions are for everyone – from young kids to adults to drivers.
“My road safety message is for everyone out there – yes, even kids too! Most of the times, parents buy their children bicycles but don’t teach them about road safety. That’s a huge problem, children too are road victims, they should know their roads,” added Mr Ramasubramanian.
He signs off by telling us, I want India to become a safe place to drive, I will need the help of everyone out there but sooner or later we will achieve this target. I have started this road safety movement in a small city of India for now; very soon I will cover the whole country.