Looks, luck or life?
If you are heading for disaster in Hyderabad's chaotic traffic, beat it by fastening your helmets. After all, it's your life
Photo : K. Ramesh Babu
Attentive audience at the Alambana Road Safety programme.
ON AN average, each day Hyderabad loses five lives and is witness to 1,500 accidents every month. Of these 80 per cent are cases of head injuries cases where much could have been avoided if only a helmet was in place. Why, then, does the Hyderabadi shy away from the helmet rule?
Is he concerned about his `looks' being affected or is he certain that `luck' will see him to safety?
Thanks to numerous loans and easy payback instalments, the vehicular population in the country is one per cent of the total number in the world.
India also has the highest rate of accidents worldwide and has recorded 55 deaths for every 10,000 vehicles. Road accidents have become a major public health problem and the leading cause of death for people under 45.
Speaking at Satyam's Road Safety Week programme organised by Alambana, Dr. B.C.M. Prasad said, "Even in ancient times, much importance was given to head gear and the metal helmet was common on the battlefield.
A protective helmet reduces the chances of head injury by 50 per cent and prevents foreign bodies from entering the skull.
Of equal importance are seat belts and built-in air bags. In case of head injury, the first 24 hours are considered the `Golden Hours' when the ABC airway, breathing and circulation should be stabilised."
`Helmet - jaan se pyara,' `Safety belt - safety ka sahara' were the catchy lyrics in the informal skit staged by the Satyam employees.
They also shared firsthand stories of loved ones who suffered head injuries .
Dr. Balaji Utla, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Strategy Group, who heads Alambana, said, "when Hyderabad can become the software powerhouse of the world, we can certainly improve public behaviour on the roads and make our city a better and safer place. Epidemics cannot be prevented but serious head injuries can. It's just a matter of educating people and effectively enforcing laws. We decided to start in-house with our employees every Satyamite will have to wear a helmet and use a seatbelt."
Alambana is a non-profit voluntary social initiative run by Satyam's Associates (employees) and their spouses. Alambana evolved in 2000 with the objective of fulfilling Satyam's corporate responsibility to society.
One of its primary project aims is to train school dropouts, belonging to economically backward families in basic IT skills.
The other areas of their work are primary education, environment, disaster relief management and healthcare.
Before you get astride on a speeding bike or slip behind the wheel believing nothing can happen to you stop, think and take necessary precautions!
PADMINI B. PATELL
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