Realizing the gravity of the problem of road safety in India, we realized that an elaborate and efficient working model was to be introduced at the school level which may as well have a large outreach to parents and other actors of change. By an all-inclusive program, Teachers-Parents-Authorities-Students have been congregated by deliberation and sensitization. To be the carriers of change, social activities were also undertaken and the message has been adopted and directed using creativity, competitiveness and even as a discipline in the form of physical activity.
India is one of the most populous and fastest developing country but faces a major threat due to preventable road crashes and traffic accidents.There are lot of factors which contribute to this major bottleneck problem. In the last decade alone India has lost 1.3 million people to preventable road crashes and has left nearly 5.3 million people disabled. What turns out to be a real horror of the Indian roads is that it kills twelve times the number of children who lose their lives to other illegal crimes. The resultant being a product of the most practiced activity, flout.
The Indian roads already in rugged shape are worsened by people who do not abide to traffic rules.
1) Most riders are charged for over speeding, rash driving, not wearing a helmet or not having correct paperwork and driving without a license.
2) Also, struggling workforce of the traffic police, pathetic conditions of the roads, poor road designs and cheap material used for making the roads should also be blamed.
3) The youth leads the casualty rate of accidents for underage driving while also being the most vulnerable to be victims of accidents.
4) The license certifying authority also had loopholes which people used to get licenses without giving tests.
5) A considerable amount of people lose their lives because of driving under the influence of alcohol. Most of those involved are underage and hold no license.
6) Most people do not even know the meaning behind the markings on the roads which decide their fate or how to decode simple signs.
To see if the students were aware of traffic rules, road signs and symbols, a questionnaire was developed and circulated to the students of our school and the result was recorded and analysed. It was observed that the students were not quite aware of traffic signs, rules and symbols. They were often silent spectators to the violations happening around. After analyzing the students’ responses, our school took several initiatives and conducted activities to make sure that they gained some knowledge and insight into the domain of road safety.
The reform/solutions if introduced at an early and an effective stage such as at the school level (with active campaigning) will surely result in some positive changes. There is an urgent need to educate the small and the grownups alike. Schools play an active part in defining the personality of the students as well as their risky and responsible behaviours. The school, fulfilling its responsibility of creating civil citizens sensitizes the students to be responsible, aware and vigilant at all times.The Idea was to carry out a large Awareness Campaign and activities by including all the agents of change. The direct and personal campaign educated those who have to live with the effect and those who affect the former.
To help students in becoming vigilant and law abiding citizens, a confluence of activities were carried out for all the students in the school from Primary to the senior block of the school. Our School organized a Road Safety Workshop in collaboration with the The traffic police department to make the students aware about various traffic rules and regulations. It repeatedly emphasized on the fact that they must be no driving at all under 18 years except bicycles. It also conducted a quiz and gave away few goodies to the children for their right answers to induce healthy competition.
A play to spread awareness about road safety was conducted. Enacting some of the casual and risky behaviours visible on roads, students took a jibe at the violations by the offenders. Different episodes on road violations like drunken driving, use of mobiles while driving, traffic signal violations were depicted along with their grave consequences.
Students from the primary wing of our school organized an awareness walk where they depicted the significance of the traffic rules. Students went around the school campus with placards on road safety.
The students of class 1-3rd were also constructively engaged in a painting competitions on road safety.
The Students of Quest Club of Salwan Public School Rajendra Nagar conducted an in-house quiz. The students from class VI-VIII appeared in the quiz.
After these activities, we interviewed some students to scrutinize their level of awareness about road safety.
Also, a questionnaire (survey) was again developed and randomly circulated amongst the students of our school. This time, the result came out to be positive and it was observed that students were aware of traffic rules. A sample of 40 students were at first surveyed which gave us a grim picture of the current situation and low level of awareness. After the counter measures taken in form of these activities, another survey revealed a significant progress and rise in level of law literacy and awareness in students.
The school has strict measures to ensure that no student uses motorized vehicles to commute to and from school on their own. They are encouraged to be more responsible and even to urge other students not to indulge themselves in underage driving. The students being from the student community themselves convey the message better to their peers.
To convey message of two-fold benefits, the Salwan Marathon is organized which has now expanded as the largest marathon to encourage the youth to be more physically involved and to quit underage driving.
By embracing all stakeholders (Traffic Police Department-pedestrians-riders-teachers-parents and heads) in this common cord of road safety we have been able to deliberate, sensitize and bring together a confluence of various activities through this initiative. With our School motto: Service before Self: we take a firm resolve; Together we can and together we will!