Ravi Gaikwad, RTO chief of Thane (Konkan Range), whose world T20 series in March this year will feature former cricket superstars like Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards, received the Road Safety Award of Maharashtra from the state's chief minister Uddhav Thakre in Mumbai earlier this week. Gaikwad's effort to spread road safety awareness is fetching good results. Statistics reveal that the number of accidents, injuries and deaths have gone down in his area of jurisdiction.
Every year, more than 1.5-2 lakh people die on Indian roads due to vehicular accidents; one person dies every 4 minutes and 1,214 road accidents occur every day in the country. In the last five years, more than 65 lakh people were disabled completely. According to the RTO department’s Accident Comparative Report 2018-19, the number of accidents in Thane district came down from 898 to 711, the number of serious injuries was down from 642 to 576 and more importantly, the number of deaths came down from 301 to 222.
“Every life is precious. If we can save even one life, we should do it. We are trying to create an awareness towards road safety so that we can save as many lives as possible. But, this can’t happen with the work of one, two or a group of individuals. People should take awareness towards road safety as a movement,” said Gaikwad.
Gaikwad, a crusader for road safety, is very popular on social media. A winner of the Best Engineer Award from the Engineering Association of India, he is trying to spread road safety awareness through school children.
In the initial phase, Gaikwad's department is reaching out to 100,000 students who will take a pledge to tell their parents the importance of road safety. The idea is to get signatures from 10 lakh students from all over the country and submit it to the government.