The United Nations had declared the week from 6th-12th May, 2013 as the Global Road Safety week with the theme –“Pedestrian Safety”.
Radio Madhuban 90.4 FM, a community radio station in Abu Road, Rajasthan, planned to promote this effort by spreading awareness about road traffic rules and safety on roads. The project was titled “Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, Ye Hai Traffic Meri Jaan” which included several on-air programs, promotion capsules and one-liners which were broadcast throughout the day for the entire week.
The main show “7 din 7 Ghante” was broadcast every day from 6-7pm and featured discussions and talks with various government officials and related personnel on different themes under the umbrella of the central theme of ‘safety on roads’.
“Kadak Hawaldar”, a brainchild of the Radio Madhuban team, was the on-air mascot of the project – a voice that used satire and wit to inform the community in an interesting and entertaining manner.
Many one-liners and short messages of authorised personnel were broadcast to motivate and encourage people to observe traffic rules and promote safety on roads at all times.
The detailed day-to-day report of major activities and events has been presented below:
The first day set off on a very dedicated note where on one hand the RJs tried to highlight the need to look into the immensely pressing matter of safety on roads, while on the other, a lot of people from the local community came forward to share their opinions about road traffic related issues and the present state of roads in the area. They pointed that the condition of roads in Abu road has been deteriorating and negligible effort has been put in for maintenance. While the roads are narrow and marked with innumerable potholes, the lack of footpaths further puts pedestrian safety at stake. Some people also confessed crossing red traffic signals and not following proper safety measures while on road. The RJs also appealed to the listeners to ‘never drink and drive’ and stay safe. The overwhelming participation from the local community made it evident that the project had gained momentum.
Special guests from Larsen & Tubro, Engineers Mr. Mahendrapal and Mr. Sappan, educated the listeners about the informatory, mediatory and questionery road signals and signs. Listeners were informed about the importance of a divider, a round-about, reflectors, indicators, footpaths and zebra crossing in detail. Mr. Mahendrapal also mentioned about the emergency services provided by L&T on the highways like fuel refilling, repair of vehicles, a telephone booth at every 2 Km and other assistance in case of medical emergencies. He encouraged listeners to follow traffic rules and ‘to always drive in their respective lanes and use indicators while changing lanes’.
Our RJs conducted a survey in the local community and found that most people are unaware of proper safety measures and road traffic rules. To promote basic awareness among people, the RJs explained and talked about the various road safety rules. The messages and views of various officials and traffic police officers were aired for the benefit of the listeners. Also, the parents were motivated to not allow children below the age of 18 years to drive without adult supervision and to strictly discourage those below 17 years to drive motor vehicles.
A quiz contest was conducted in the studio with three teams from the community. The questions were based upon road safety, traffic rules, road signals and signs and punishment and legal action in case of not following traffic rules. The listeners were also involved in the quiz and it gave a lot of new and important information to the people.
A special guest, Colonel Jitender, shared his personal experience while discussing about prevention of accidents on roads. Harping on the fact that “prevention is better than cure”, he suggested that drivers must always wear helmets/seat belts, never drink and drive and never use mobile phones while driving. The casualties must be taken care of at the earliest, he said, while also adding that no one must panic or run away from the site in case of an accident.
The students of RK Coaching Classes also did a talk show discussing the importance of a driving license, pollution certificate for vehicles, the attributes of a good helmet and various other rules and regulations related to road accidents and safety on roads.
A senior teacher of the student body, Rajasthan did a show in regional Marvadi language about pedestrian safety. Manvi Sharma, a citizen of Abu Road also shared that if she would have worn a helmet, without keeping in mind the beauty of her hair, she would not have to spend 6 months in the hospital. Listening to the talk on the radio throughout the day, an enthusiastic caller, Mr. Purushottam Kashyap, pledged on-air to use a helmet while driving.
BK Suresh, H.Q. Coordinator, Transport wing of Brahma Kumaris also informed our listeners about the various activities conducted by the wing, while BK Mohan mentioned some very important points to be taken care of by the drivers while driving.
RK Bhatt, Manager, Karnavati Club, shared his views about safety on roads in Gujarati language. He very rightly said that we are only saving our lives, and not doing any favour to the society, by observing proper traffic rules.
A lot of people called in on the last day to congratulate the team for putting in such effort to inform, educate and aware people about the various aspects of safety on roads and road traffic rules. So many callers pledged to follow these rules and also motivate others to observe traffic rules.
This project not only educated people about traffic safety but also helped in spreading important information about various traffic rules and safety regulations. A lot of different means were adopted to disseminate information to the local community. Also, several guests from the society were invited for sharing their ideas and opinions about the issue of pedestrian safety.
The fact that a lot of people came up to support us in this endeavour is a testimony to the wide-spread reach of the project. We had several callers who pledged on-air to pay heed to road traffic rules and try to always contribute to safety on roads.
It was the support of the local community, the cooperation of the authorities concerned and the hard work and effort of our team that led to the completion of this project.
With a hope that this effort will reduce the cases of road accidents in the Abu Road, we will continue to undertake such activities in the future also.