We welcome Partnerships in Capacity Building of Road Safety Management
Yes, profits are important! We need to promote companies to make profits, as revenues act as a regulator of efficiency in business operations. At the same time profit is a measure of how a business is serving society. Major portion of business profit of companies is taxed away and is used to finance many government programmes for social improvement. At the same time committed corporate citizens endeavour to support so many other programmes for saving the planet and people which the governments are unable to provide for.
India is perhaps the only country where a compulsory CSR law was enacted in 2013. Under this law, the firms with a certain net worth or net profit have to spend 2% of annual profits on CSR activities. These activities have been further defined by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Within the road safety domain these include the promotion of education, driver training, vocational skills, healthcare and aid to accident victims, but not research and capacity building.
We need to reply to a question: Why are Indian roads killing as many as 820 persons every single day (as estimated by the WHO)? Is education the only way out? And when all CSR funds are being invested in education, then why are the casualties not reducing. Is the Government able to handle the issue facing road safety management? The answer is NO.
What is required is investment into research and capacity building of the government systems themselves. There is a need for the development of legal instruments, codes of practices and standard operation procedures. Consequently the investment towards the development of tools and systems of training and the manpower capacity building of the government related to: traffic engineers, driver trainers, motor licensing officers, enforcement personnel, accident investigators, post-crash managers and traffic managers.
In the absence of government support in these areas, the IRTE has been gratefully supported by concerned corporate philanthropists: the Diageo India Ltd., and the Goodyear India Ltd. The Road to Safety initiative supported by Diageo, has translated into training of traffic police in 66 cities across the country over the last 5 years. Under the School Conclave programme, approximately 600 teachers have been trained in a methodology to impart road safety education to school students through the existing subjects of the school curriculum. Under the university students awareness programme 1,500 students have received training on basic legislation and defensive driving. In addition the adoption of the UT of Pondicherry has seen a 21% drop in fatal accidents in one year. Now the project under operation is the NH 44 between Delhi and Ambala which has witnessed over 750 fatalities in one year.
The Safer Roads Safer You initiative supported by the Goodyear has trained 14430 taxi drivers, 3997 school bus drivers and attendants and awareness to more than 1500 police and transport officers in the area of application of amendment to legal instruments. As a capacity building initiative, the Code of Practice for Taxi Operation and the Policy for Safety in Transport School Children have been developed for the Government.
At the Institute of Road Traffic Education, we look forward to partner with, and invite like-minded corporate houses, who believe in capacity building initiatives, which are based on scientific research and have long term rewards. We value the contribution made by Corporate partners for each rupee we receive in our joint social effort to improve road safety.