Road safety week is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm every year in India at many places such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Baroda, Vadodara, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and etc. People are guided and informed about how to drive on road by organizing variety of programmes related to the road safety.
To celebrate this week of awareness to generate road safety precautionary measures; Humara Bachpan child leaders from various slums in Bhubaneswar assembled at the Traffic Police Station, AG Square to make roads of Bhubaneswar safer for children. The child leaders had an interface with the Mr. Jatinra Kumar Panda, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic); where he held audience on the various traffic rules and regulatory measures that the children must adhere to as responsible citizens of the country.
The congregation of children also submitted a Charter of Demand to the ACP which highlighted on child friendly components like the introduction of a set of exclusive child-friendly guidelines for children to be developed by the Commissionerate Police among others.
“I got to know so many rules that we as a part of the city must stand by to avoid from fatal accidents and road mishaps. Through this interface I will tell my friends about the many traffic rules and regulations as well. I especially liked the tour of the park at the AG Square.” Said Sushree Monali Priyadarshini, a 12 year old Humara Bachpan child leader from Ganga Nagar basti in Bhubaneswar.
“It is unfortunate to say that India has the world’s worst record of road safety. 19 out of every 100,000 children are killed in transportation related incidents in India. 41% of the child deaths are caused because of transportation accidents. One child is injured or killed in road accidents every five minutes” What we require is a stringent set of exclusive guidelines which can take into cognizance the needs of a child. Sensitization, of traffic personnel who can provide aide and assistance to a child in need on the roads during accidents”, said Ms. Preeti Prada, National Head of Humara Bachpan Campaign who was present at the venue.
While Bhubaneswar is urbanising rapidly with a population of 837,737; where children form 8.98% of the total population as per the Census 2011. Irrespective of being one of the first few planned cities of India, still there has been no provision for the city’s traffic to be child-friendly.
“Our city’s roads should have safe footpaths and cycle paths for children’s separately. Roads near schools and slums must have speed breakers at the same time signage boards to avoid further accidents. Also, the concept of child friendly zebra crossings should be introduced. We children demand separate provisions to cater to the facilities in a sensitive manner.” asserts Rupak Kumar Gouda, a 15 year old Humara Bachpan Child leader from Science Park Basti in Bhubaneswar. Rupak has been propelling to bring about necessary changes in the city’s infrastructure to monitor on child friendly components.
Celebrating the road safety campaign was initiated by the ISS India HSE (Health Safety and Environment) in order to make people aware about the national road safety in the Indian subcontinent. ISS India had declared to celebrate the Road Safety Week all through the country in the first week of the month of January. The aim of this campaign was to emphasize and accentuate people about the need of safe roads travel by applying just simple rules.
Humara Bachpan Campaign initiated this interface so as to encourage children’s participation in road safety initiatives with active support from transport experts and urban planners of the city.