A road accident six years ago that crippled him and turned his life topsy-turvy made him an ardent champion of road safety. George K. Thomas, though confined to a wheelchair, is busy working for the betterment of the lives of those crippled by road accidents.

Mr. Thomas, now in his late twenties, is the author of the book ‘Safer Driving' and is involved in charity works of NGO ‘Prayukti', founded by him to help victims of road accidents.

Hailing from Nalanchira, Mr. Thomas who suffered irreparable damage to the spinal cord in an accident at Pananvila here was the cynosure of all eyes at the State-level launch of an awareness and training programme on road safety, organised by the Motor Vehicles Department to kick off the United Nations observance of ‘2011-2020: A Decade of Action for Road Safety'.

Mr. Thomas, who lit the lamp along with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Transport Minister V.S. Sivakumar, called upon the people: “Share the road with others. Don't be in haste when you ride a motorcycle. Be cautious and don't try to speed past among children”.

Though elated on seeing his book being released by Mayor K. Chandrika, the memories of the collision with an autorickshaw still haunt him. “Only one week later, I came to know of the damage caused to the spinal cord. I was studying in second-year B.Com and had to discontinue my studies after being confined to the Medical College Hospital for four months. A proper evacuation from the site of accident to the hospital could have saved me,” he recalls.

His father Kunjachan K. Thomas, an NRI, mother Kunjumool, brother Jijo and his close friends were all supportive and ensured that he was not confined to the bed. “Others should not fall victims to road accidents. It is arrogance and ignorance that results in majority of accidents. I am sad that I cannot move freely as others,” he says.

Mr. Thomas is now campaigning for a trauma care centred around main police stations on the lines of the 108 ambulance service to evacuate accident victims within three minutes to the hospitals.