Chennai

A battle against accidents

Rinki Sharma

Rinki Sharma  

A road accident took their daughter’s life; parents now fight to make roads safe for others

 

Potholes are fixed at a colony in Bengaluru by volunteers of Arundhati Foundation

Potholes are fixed at a colony in Bengaluru by volunteers of Arundhati Foundation  

 

 

In Bengaluru, there is only a slim chance of crater-like potholes being spotted in and around Cambridge Layout. Depression on the road surface that is likely to cause accidents are fixed by the Tambwekars, who live in the area, either by registering a complaint with the civic body’s helpline number or on their own. Or sometimes with the help of a few professionals summoned by them.

Dangerous road conditions can cause accidents and the Tambwekars don’t want another fatality on the road.

In 2014, the couple — Dr. Shubhangi Sanjay Tambwekar and Sanjay Achyut Tambwekar — lost their daughter, Arundhati, in a gruesome road accident in Vellore. Later, they started The Arundhati Foundation in her memory through which they are fighting for safer roads and responsible driving.

Under the project ‘Vikram’, the non-profit organisation takes up road safety, with focus on accident prevention and creating awareness of bad road conditions. “When we have to fill potholes in a road, we try to involve the citizens in the area,” says Shubhangi.

Safety Ambassador Programme is another initiative where they go to schools to drive the message on road safety through events like painting and experimental lessons. Recently, children at a school were taught how to use the fire extinguisher to put out a fire. “We are open to more schools approaching us,” says Shubhangi.

The Foundation also works towards influencing policies and towards this, they have teamed up with ‘Save Life Foundation’..

To know more about their work, visit www.thearundhati foundation.org.in

A changemaker’s plea

Concerned by the number of fatal accidents happening on Yamuna Expressway — a 165-km road that connects Delhi to Agra — Rinki Sharma decided the least she could do was push the authorities to take preventive steps.

As per a report in The Hindu, the Expressway witnessed over 150 deaths in road accidents in 2019, the maximum ever since it got operational in 2012.

“I travel on this six-lane often and have witnessed many accidents,” says Rinki who is head of projects and CSR at Consumer VOICE.

Through an online petition on Change.org she has been appealing to the officials to take immediate steps to prevent fatalities in the future. The petition says that there is only a barbed wire separating the two sides of the Expressway. The Central Road Research institute has recommended that crash barrier be installed to prevent accidents, which must be done at the earliest, reads the petition. “I recently met the transport commissioner of Uttar Pradesh and he has given me some hope,” says Rinki.

Meanwhile, she has been visiting schools and colleges spreading the message on road safety. “Many a time, accidents happen due to human negligence, so if we can follow road discipline, a lot of heartache can be averted,” she adds.

Check the petition at http://change.org/LifeIsPrecious

Rinki Singh at a rally. Photo: Special Arrangement

Rinki Singh at a rally. Photo: Special Arrangement  

 

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:00:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-battle-against-accidents/article30593813.ece

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