Thursday 26 April 2012

First Global Road Safety Week (23rd-29th April 2007)I.R.T.E

In remembrance of the first Global Road Safety week (23rd-29th April 2007) who better person to write about –yes the man with  a mission  to see   roads  safe from  any mishap  Rohit Baluja .He is a member of U.N.Road Safety Collaboration and represents India at the commission for Global Road Safety .

As president of I.R.T.E ( Institute of Road Traffic Education) his brain child, he is the observer member party one of UN Economic Commission for Europe. The I.R.T.E has been granted Rooster Consultative Status by the UNESCO.

Dr .Rohit Baluja a  businessman of repute wanted to give back to the society in his own unique way. He took up an issue close to his heart that of Road accidents the largest killers of Indians .A split second miscalculation  perhaps because the driver has earphones plugged in his ears ,or simply music  blaring in the vehicle ,or driving after a drink or so with dulled senses or talking on the mobile phone ….in anger or happiness with the person on the other end or for that matter just tired and just  a  nano second of dozing or riding a two wheeler without a helmet …Karboom…. an accident just happens no excuse what so ever  can change the aftermath of an accident .Life changes forever for the victim and his family !   A traumatic life unfolds with the family painfully  grappling with the   unsettling situation . If the victim lives then  life begins in the backdrop of when the being was  fit and fine  and now broken and distraught. To rub it in so to speak he has the Trauma Centre of AIIMS (All India Institute Of Medical Science)Doctor who I remember had    given a hair rising account of the accident victims. Believe me its like a jolt to the insensitive  audience telling them in no uncertain terms that if the road rules are broken there is absolutely no pardon .The punishment is severe and unimaginable. No matter what… do not break road rules …that is the   message  loud and clear!

His mother a medical Doctor by profession gets misty eyed when she proudly talks of him happy in the thought that he is ‘always thinking about doing good  ’This goes by way of the  hand that rocks the cradle rules the world !In him she has a soft spoken, sensitive humble son who has set out to bring down the accident rate of the country. No he is not alone in his mission . His  lovely wife stands with him and is a rock solid support to his venture. His beautiful comely  daughters  are Papa’s pillars!!!!! Armed with support from family and well-wishers, he set out to help the city  deal with /prevent road accidents . He went on to establish a pioneering institute (I.R.T.E.)  a non profit 1991  in New Delhi. Heart and soul he devoted himself to spreading awareness among DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation)Drivers ,Traffic policemen, School children etc .Everything to develop ‘Road culture’ in the seventh largest country in the world with a burgeoning population .

To spread awareness amongst children the future of our country ,a series of workshops were organized in the schools . The results were encouraging . It  made children sit up and think .Their fertile minds came up with unique slogans ,posters , paintings drawings , depicting everything  concerning road safety  .Also brilliant declamations ,debates ,role plays  about Traffic ,roads ,accidents ,parking pedestrian crossing ,fines for offenders, getting licenses by dubious means  and the normative aspect i.e. what ought to be an ideal situation etc  were organized in the schools. The students were  quizzed on the Traffic signs and were  tutored  to be righteous and point out anyone breaking Traffic rules – be it their very own family members. e.g. if they zipped passed a red light …

There’s another feather in his cap that of establishing a college of Traffic Management in NCR Delhi.It is the only single umbrella facility for research and training in all areas of Traffic Management!

In  collaboration with Maruti Udyog he designed the interceptor to capture video based moving violation of the Traffic. His effort was appreciated and recognized by the government of India at the national Republic Day parade (1996) where one views the menacing looking tanks and missiles etc being showcased was his puny little Interceptor rolling  Raj Path India Gate and my heart swelled with pride !Yes even I am a founder member of his vision …though I have yet to make a meaningful contribution !

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