Friday 29 August 2014

Traffic Awareness Rally conducted at Maharashtriya Mandal School

On 6th of September every year, Action For Pune Development celebrates International Youth Social Service Day. This initiative was started by Aakash Shah to get the maximum participation of youths and to make them aware about various evils and problems faces by the society. This year,  We decided that we would concentrate on the priorities given in My World 2015 and World We Want survey. We combined My world 2015 and Social Service Day and approached various schools in Pune. Amongst all the schools, the one that gave us immediate support was Maharashtriya Mandal School which is located on Tilak road in Pune City. It was decided that the school will work on the priority 'Better transport and road' from the  My World survey. The plan was to have a traffic awareness rally on Tilak road, which is one of the busiest roads in the city and to promote traffic rules and road safety. All the students of the school along with My World 2015 youth ambassadors Ms.Natasha Kanvinde, Ms.Sawani Khurjekar, Ms.Krinjal Lalwani, Ms.Shreya Inamdar and I were involved in making various posters about traffic safety. The teachers of the school supported us immensely. All the youngsters that were present there felt like City Changers and supported another United Nations campaign 'I am a city changer'. On 27th August we set out for the rally. The five of us along with 5 teachers from the school and 500 students of the school. We started walking from the front gate of the school shouting out slogans, making the people aware as well as the students. It was a 2.5 kilometer walk and back to the school back gate. In this small walk we managed to make the students aware about the need of traffic safety, about simple rules like wearing a helmet, a seat belt, and how these small things can save us from so many accidents. I want to thank Action for Pune Development(APD), Aakash Shah (Founder and President , APD) , Ms. Shivani Pise (Convenor , International Youth Social Service Day , 2014) United Nations for giving us this amazing opportunity.


Thursday 28 August 2014

One Change, several Lives can be Saved.

Until a few years back, the number of vehicles on roads was fairly less than it is today. Hence,traffic jams and road accidents were quite uncommon. But now, these things have become a part of our routine. We aren't shocked to encounter an accident while going to work. We are bound to suffer from these issues. Afterall,we are the real culprits.

When the number of road accidents and mishaps started rising in the city of Pune, a group of youngsters famously known as 'Action for Pune Development' wanted to do something about it and live up to their name. Soon after,they joined hands with the Pune Traffic Police and initiated their Traffic awareness & Road safety campaign. The first activity was to distribute pamphlets that stated the importance of wearing a helmet. Volunteers, along with the Police, went to assigned traffic signals across the city and distributed the pamphlets among the two wheeler riders without a helmet awaiting the signal to go off. The pamphlets had a slogan printed on them in Marathi which translates to, "Umbrellas to protect your head from getting wet,then why not a helmet to protect it from breaking?". It was enough to enlighten the minds of several people and hence this activity received a positive response with many people adapting to wearing helmets. In the next activity,volunteers went to a few road junctions and raised their voices, literally. They either personally approached people or spoke on the megaphones in police vans. Distribution of pamphlets was also done at the Mumbai-Pune express highway by the team.  

After these activities,change was seen. People were wearing helmets, seatbelts and breaking other traffic rules less often. It was then decided that as accidents cannot be eradicated, emergency cards for personal safety and indentification will be distributed. These cards were pocket-sized, with slots for information like blood group and emergency contact numbers. The team requested people to correctly fill them and carry them everywhere after like they carry their phones and wallets.

The most recent activity in this campaign was a rally organized in collaboration with a city based school. The aim was to not only create awareness amongst vehicle owners,but also to teach the children the importance of following traffic rules. A large number of students participated and made the rally a success.

 As easy as it may seem to blame the traffic Police,law and system;we must also understand that solving our own problems is in our hands to an extent.Following rules and laws makes you more than just a good citizen.


Posted By : Sawani Khurjekar.
About Sawani: Sawani is a 12th Grade Commerce student studying in Symbiosis. Since March 2012, she has been working with couple of organisations and joined APD in June 2012. Her aim is to make shelter for Children and Animals.