Hundreds of Indians never get to come back home and are a victim of road mishaps. NGO, ‘Drive Smart Drive Safe’ organised a 250 KM walkathon from Delhi to Chandigarh, which concluded at Zirakpur. The walkathon was a part of Road Safety Week announced by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways from 23rd – 30th April 2018.
The event was supported by Hella India Lighting Ltd., Automotive Competent Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), CII-Yi, ArriveSAFE NGO & Punjab Police. The motive of the walkathon was to ensure safety of pedestrians.
The flag off for the event happened at India Gate in Delhi on 23rd April The mega relay Walkathon was executed by the Hella employees in pairs where they walked for 5 kms each in pair at a stretch and pass the baton to the next pair and so on, involving and engaging many safety warriors on the go. Dr S.S Chauhan ADGP Punjab traffic police, Mr Harman Sidhu from ArriveSAFE, & Mr Devir Singh Bhandari, Indian Film Director, Chairman DSB group & Chair Road Safety Delhi CII Yi were present at Zirakpur. Participants of all ages walked enthusiastically from Metro Zirakpur to Zirakpur Bus Stand near Paras Downtown Mall.
ADGP Chauhan while addressing the gathering said, Punjab Traffic Police is working towards bringing down road accidents. He said while in 2016 the state was among the top Indian states where number of road accidents was high but the same has been brought down and also added that recently a three-member panel has been constituted to work towards it.
Mr Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, HELLA India Lighting Ltd. informed, “It’s a step towards fighting a lengthy battle to make India Safer for pedestrian. The objective is to run for awareness of the same, but also capture live video images as evidence of walking and difficulties on the way. These real evidences will be used to create awareness about necessity of seamless walking zones for Pedestrians, else we will continue to lose them in Road Accidents.”
He further elaborated that latest data about road accidents in India is very alarming. With one death every 4 minutes and an accident every minute, the situation is very critical and cannot be left unattended for long. The Walkathon is part of the company’s vision adopted in 2011 to promote road safety and focus on improving visibility on roads – a key measure to ensure safer roads in India. Hella aims to Impact Reducing Road Deaths on Indian Roads by bringing Technology (Engineering) and Spreading Awareness (Education). Our objective can be well understood by our Company’s Purpose statement. “Technology of Tomorrow for the Life of Today, On Indian Roads”, said Mr. Pandey, adding that this is just the tip of our nationwide safety mission, and bringing Safety-enabled Products and awareness among masses are the two key objectives of this mission.
Concerned citizens, civil society members, traffic police and scores of road safety volunteers participated in the Walkathon. Interactive games, such as Snakes and Ladders, were used to educate people on basic road safety measures. A large board was installed where participants signed their pledge to adhere to road safety rules. Chandigarh Traffic Police too employed vans highlighting road safety posters to accompany and educate walkers.