The exercise was not to just teach them about safety, it was also to shoulder responsibility.
It was a dream come true for many of the students of Canara Higher Primary School, Urwa, recently when they got an opportunity to ride a small 50CC bike as part of the safety riding programme undertaken by Honda Matrix.
A first time initiative in a school in Mangalore, the half-day-long programme was organised with the motive of creating awareness among students on safe riding and teaching them while they are young.
A total of 43 students from Stds IV and V participated in this programme. In all 40 children were selected randomly, two days prior to the programme. Preference was given to children who knew how to ride a cycle and after getting due permission from their parents. The School Headmistress Lalana J Shenoy said that three children were selected on the spot as a gesture of encouragement. “A track was laid in the school grounds wherein the children were allowed a round each with able assistance by two helpers to avoid a possible fall,” she added.
Bikes and cars
Kratharth, Std V, who was the first one to be chosen to ride the bike, said that he was super excited after undergoing the experience. “Midway through the round, the ride became even more interesting when we were allowed to ride all alone. The volunteers were very supportive,” he said. For Sathvik of the same class the experience was very good as he rode the bike without losing balance. However, he said that he would like to drive a car when he grew up as he was crazy about cars.
Achala, from the same class said that it was a very good experience to be able to ride a bike so young. “We learnt a lot about use of traffic signals and most importantly learnt the value of respecting speed limit,” she said. With this practical experience we now have realised the danger of not following traffic rules. “Further, we were also asked to pledge not to ride a bike until we were 18, and obtain a driving licence,” added Bhuvanesh and Satya Sagar, both from Std V.
Children were taken good care of as the safety gears such as helmets, knee guard and chest guard were in place. “The tiny bike was very powerful but it's meant only for training and is not for sale. It has been imported from Japan for the purpose,” added Shenoy.