Downtown

Road safety begins at school

Selvin has ensured that many schools in the western parts of the city have joined the RSP movement. Photo: M. Vedhan   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

During the morning rush hour, most schools are a picture of chaos — with parents rushing in to drop their kids before the school gates close.

In some schools, Road Safety Patrol (RSP) cadets and teachers help deal with this chaotic situation. Traffic managers say more schools should sign up for RSP.

A.S. Selvin Theophilus, senior planning officer, Chennai West Zone, Tamil Nadu Police Traffic Wardens’ Organisation, is one of them. He is already credited with getting many educational institutions in the western region, which includes Anna Nagar, Ambattur and Pulianthope, to join the RSP movement.

“It is not enough to enrol school students and teachers; you also need to get them to participate. Selvin has done a handsome job in the western part of the city by motivating children to stay on as RSP cadets,” says Azeem Ahmed, deputy chief traffic warden.

Five years ago, around 60 schools from the Western parts of the city had taken up RSP programme. “Now, we have over 200 schools,” says Selvin, a businessman who is associated with the traffic wardens organisation since 1995.

Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Mogappair, for instance, has around 250 students enrolled as RSP cadets. Both the campuses of SBOA School and Junior College have around 200 cadets with 14 teachers.

“Persuading schools to join the movement is a challenge. Many see it as a waste of time, some consider it a matter of prestige to be a part of this movement. Some schools are very encouraging,” says Selvin.

“Sri Venkateswara Matriculation School in Ambattur, for instance, would make all arrangement to see there students participate in awareness rallies and parades.”

Selvin, who won the Sri Kumara Menon award for the best traffic warden in 2003, has also persuaded quite a few government schools to ensure their students enrolled as cadets.

Taking part in RSP programmes helps students understand traffic rules better.

“This also helps them become better pedestrians and drivers as they grow up,” he adds.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 2:33:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Road-safety-begins-at-school/article14001620.ece

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