Manjari Foundation - Developing women's organizations at the grassroots.

A Move Towards a Safe life

NARESH KUMAR NAIN

March 13, 2019

Blog

Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015 by World Health Organization who reported that India ranked number one in road crash deaths and injuries in the world.

The same report also reveals that over 400 people were killed in road accidents every day. In the same year, two-wheeler accidents claimed 36,800 victims and left around 93,400 injured. Despite of the number of collisions is higher in urban areas there is a greater chance of dying on rural roads, with 59% of the fatalities occurring. Quality of roads is also one of the biggest problems in India. India has among the unsafe roads in the world. 1,381,314 people in India have been killed in road crashes in last ten years while 5,030, 707 people have been seriously injured or disabled in road crashes in last ten years.

As we know motorcycles are very important and useful means of commute in rural areas. Many of the rural people are using motorcycles for their regular travel, but many of them don’t have helmets and those who have helmets also have lagging behind or not using helmets properly. According to the United Nations Motorcycle helmet Study 2016, motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than drivers of passenger cars. Study also reported that wearing an appropriate helmet improves their chances of survival by 42% and helps avoid 69% of injuries to riders.

Safety Campaign in Sakhi

Being a very responsible corporate, Hindustan Zinc launched a safety campaign in near by areas of their operational villages. The purpose of campaign was to make zero accident zones in surrounding of HZL. As it is proven that women have more caring and responsible attitude than men, HZL choose SAKHI women for this drive. With the support and guidance of HZL safety team and Sakhi women lead the safety campaign in villages where Sakhi team is working. The women are creating awareness and sensitizing rural community on the importance and use of helmets. They marched rallies, played skits, walked on the roads of their villages, raised safety slogans and highlighted the pros and cons of wearing helmets. The unique thing of this campaign was that women lead the whole campaign and also take oath to use helmets. As we have experience availability of helmets is also very important factor in rural areas, so to reduce causality of accidents and bringing safety in focus not only for the riders but also for the back seaters, around 10,000 quality helmets have been distributed across ss location.

Positive Changes

After this unique initiative and campaigning, the SHG women from our project villages witnessed positive changes among themselves and community from ongoing awareness programme to the use of helmets. Further for strengthening the impact of this safety drive safety committees have been formed in village organizations to assure proper use of helmets so that the super-ordinate goal of zero accident can be achieved successfully.

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