· ‘Have a Safe Journey’ propagates road safety through short stories
· The book launch is a culmination of a unique road safety initiative jointly partnered by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Mahindra Truck & Bus Division and Natural Habitat Preservation Centre (NHPC), since 2016
Mumbai: Mahindra Truck & Bus Division (MTBD), a part of the USD 19 billion Mahindra Group, today launched a book titled, ‘Have a Safe Journey’, the world’s first collection of short stories on Road Safety. This book launch is part of the ambitious Road Safety Program, #HaveaSafeJourney (#HASJ), initiated in 2016 between Mahindra Truck & Bus Division, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Natural Habitat Preservation (NHP) Centre.
Published by Amaryllis, the book comprises stories by bestselling writers such as Ashwin Sanghi, Anand Neelakantan and Shinie Antony. In addition the book also has tales drawn out from a countrywide story writing contest on road safety issues. The foreword of the book has been written by Honourable Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari. There is also a special message by Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group.
As part of the program, there was a contest held for the best 30 short stories related to road safety issues; the book launch is a culmination of the winners identified post the contest. This unique and creative idea to promote a social cause stems out of the firm belief that literature can serve as an effective medium to connect and engage with people, particularly the younger generation, for promoting awareness. Writing stories about negligence and casual approach to road safety norms can strike a chord with almost everyone. Mahindra is committed towards making India’s roads safer and the #HASJ initiative is a unique endeavour to leverage the power of literature towards this end. The book, which features stories that highlight issues of road safety, is aimed at social transformation to make our roads safer, to ensure that precious lives lost on roads and huge financial losses are curtailed.
Road Safety Scenario in India
Approximately 1.30 million people die each year globally as a result of road traffic crashes, according to the Global Road Safety Report, 2015 by the World Health Organisation. In India, around 1.5 lakh people die in nearly five lakh road accidents reported every year across the country. Due to such a large number of accidents, the country ends up losing over Rs 55,000 Crore annually. In addition to this, such deaths cause lifelong trauma to the affected families, often impacting the personal and professional lives of affected family members in unexpected ways.
Government’s Road Safety Initiatives
MORTH has undertaken several key initiatives towards improving Road Safety in the last two years. One of the most important decisions in this direction has been to increase the total stretch of National Highways from 96,000 km to 2,00,000 Km. With this, the traffic on National Highways will go up to 80% of total traffic from the present 40%. When such a huge proportion of traffic manages to avail of better quality National Highways, road accidents and resultant casualties are bound to come down significantly.
One of the other crucial decisions has been to reduce the threshold for Conversion of two lane highways into four lane highways, from 15,000 Passenger Car units (PCUs) to 10,000 PCUs. Besides, a concentrated effort at addressing the accident-prone ‘black spots’ on national highways has been initiated. The government has devised a comprehensive plan, encapsulating the 5 Es- Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Emergency Care and Enactment to bring down road accidents significantly in the years to come.
Mahindra’s commitment to Road Safety
At Mahindra Truck and Bus, the focus on road safety begins with the product itself. Our trucks feature state-of-the-art, modern cabins with four-point suspensions which make them extremely comfortable and safe. The cabins are also designed ergonomically with strong aggregates making them very safe for driving and hence safer for road. Besides bringing in the new advanced technology with in-built safety in the products, we have rolled out various Road Transport Ecosystem development initiatives like Mahindra Transport Excellence Awards completed 5 editions duly supported by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways wherein at behest of the Ministry we have instituted Road Safety Awards category for recognizing and rewarding transporters who focus on road safety. Likewise, last year, 1894 HCV drivers from all over India were made to go through rigorous Psychomotor and Psychometric tests at 20 camp locations along with Traffic rules test and Medical test to identify 3 Award winning entries for Super Outperformer Driver Award. The winner driver, who symbolized right attitude, knowledge and skills of Safe driving, was awarded a brand new BLAZO 25 truck by Hon. Union Transport Minister – Mr. Nitin Gadkari and Mr. Anand Mahindra, Executive Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. during the Award ceremony this year on 4th March’16 at Delhi. Mahindra Truck and Bus is committed to working closely with the transport community and the Ministry to further the cause of road safety. Being a part of this new initiative, #Have a Safe Journey, is one more step in that direction.
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