This Town Has Gabbar Singh Watching Out For Traffic Offenders. Check Out Bollywood Style Road Safety Posters
New Delhi: Gabbar Singh, one of Bollywood’s most memorable and dreaded villains, is now creating public awareness about road safety and why is it so important to wear a helmet while riding a two-wheeler. He can be seen on the billboards in Ajmer’s Kekri town, asking his right hand man Sambha, “How much is the fine for not wearing a helmet?” on which Sambha responds, “Ji Rs. 500 Sarkar”. Using the unforgettable characters and parody of famous dialogues from the movie ‘Sholay’ on billboards to grab people’s attention to teach them road safety lessons is the idea of Anil Pandya, District Transport Officer.
While Gabbar Singh used to scare people in the film, a number of billboards carrying the photo of late actor Amjad Khan, who portrayed the character, actually warns that traffic offenders will be fined Rs. 500 for not wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler. The billboards, erected by district transport office, can be seen around the prime locations across the Kekri town, including Kekri court complex, civil hospital, Sarvad panchayat samite, municipal committee among others.
Speaking to NDTV about the idea behind the installation of such billboards, Mr. Pandya said, “Sholay still has a great influence on people as they easily relate to it, more than anything else. I realised this when I was in Ahmedabad where the locals used Gabbar Singh for promotional purposes.”
Since people understand social messages easily if the messages are shown in an interesting manner. So I decided to use the cult character Gabbar Singh and his famous dialogue to spread awareness on road safety in the town where more than 70 percent people don’t wear helmets. The town, where majority of the people ride two-wheelers, also has a mega highway where they ride without wearing a helmet. So it was our duty that we ensure that people do wear helmets while riding two-wheelers, the district transport officer further added.
These billboards have managed to create awareness among motorists. The district transport office is receiving pictures from motorists wearing helmets while standing in front of the billboards.
Notably, the district police department has not limited its awareness campaign to just billboards but is also spreading the message of road safety in schools, colleges, hostels, hospitals, government departments and markets among others.
In schools, we also use audio-video projectors to showcase short films on how accidents happen and how people can avoid it, added Mr. Pandya.
The district transport officer also stated that they are planning to install more such billboards, including the one of “Mogambo” the villain from another cult classic Mr. India played by late Amrish Puri. Mr. Pandya further said that they have launched tea cups on which road safety messages have been printed, and the transport office is distributing it among the motorists and residents in the town.
Road traffic injuries are a major public health problem and a leading cause of death and injury in the country, according to the government data. Approximately 1.5 lakh people in India lose their lives annually in road accidents. The head and brain is most vulnerable to injury in a motorcycle accident. Drivers and passengers wearing helmets increase their chance of survival significantly over non-helmet wearers. So, it is important for motorcyclists to understand the risks of riding without a helmet.
The rapid growth in the use of motorcycles in Kekri town is already being accompanied by a considerable increase in the number of head injuries and fatalities that will only continue to increase if present trends continue unchecked,” warned Mr. Pandya.