“I was 4 years old when I went through a horrible sexual abuse at the hands of my servant. My father passed away when I was merely an year old. My mother moved to her parent’s house and started working as a teacher whilst my elder brother went to school. I lived with my grandparents at home. I used to have fits at the time so I joined school very late. My grandparents were very loving but too old to look after me like a parent does. Hence the servant capitalized upon the situation and molested me on almost a daily basis. I don’t even remember how many times it occurred. One day he was caught red handed and thrown out of the house. Then, I stopped interacting with people. I developed serious eating disorders that turned me into an enormous 92kg being at a tender age of 14. I studied in an all boys school and my childhood experience shuttered my social interaction with same sex people. I viewed them with suspicion and felt insecure. I grew up with no friends, mocked by family and peer groups for being fat and too ‘girly’. All this insult plunged me back into my dark past. I saw the reason behind my failures in my sexual abuse. I felt like a toy, who was treated for the sake of extracting pleasure and then broken into pieces. I loathed my every bit of body and every minute of existence was a nightmare. Never had I hated myself this much. In fact at times, I blamed myself for it. I thought I had invited them to assault me. It was a mental torture that I silently endured. And as they say it, you are never alone. I found solace in a cousin of mine who ensured that I don’t give up. She gave me life. If she’s reading this, I want to tell her how much love and respect I have for her. She listened to my stories, my depression and hours of complaining. Finally I decided that if there’s anything that can change my life, it’s me. Therefore, I found my courage. I lost weight from 92 to 65 kgs. With that, I began to concentrate on the good things in my life. I also stopped treating myself as a victim and began to see myself as a survivor because I knew that I could have been in an even worse condition. Lastly my message to all the survivors of sexual abuse out there is that you are not alone. Don’t blame yourself. The mindset and mentality of the disgusting person who did this to you is to blame. If you find someone who is going through the same, then please stand up for them and give them support. Take a step to break the chain of this heinous crime. Be proud of who you are! Remember, you can always make the best out of your worst experiences. Be strong!”
Have you ever spotted a speeding car without a care for the traffic signal? Ever spotted a person rushing to the other side of the road when the traffic light is green? Ever seen bikers use pavements as roads to save a few minutes? Ever seen cars change lanes on highways or rush hour traffic on a whim? Well, so have thousands of other Indians.
Road safety in India is a serious concern. For a country that boasts the second largest road network in the world, it is inarguable that we need to pay more attention to our safety on roads – a place where we step out every day, spend a handsome amount of our time.
The government has come up with several regulations on road safety, but is this enough? Not if awareness around the topic is still lacking.
The intention behind the initiative is to bring together lawmakers, local authorities, traffic police and citizens under one umbrella.
The cities will be rated on parameters such as Pedestrian Rights, Road Lighting and Maintenance, Motor Laws and Traffic Control, Emergency Services, Road Cleanliness, Connectivity, Road Transport Infrastructure, Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management, Road Safety, Differently abled friendly, Road Quality and Road Safety For Children.
Here are the ten cities that were chosen for Road Safety Index 2018 and the reasons that make their roads safe or unsafe:
Mumbai has facilities for the differently-abled like reservations in public transports, special train compartments, concessions on fares, etc. The city that never sleeps scored the best when it comes to citizens’ participation in making the city accepting and warm toward the differently-abled. It won the category ‘Differently-Abled Friendly’.
However, there are areas of improvement – illegal hawkers, pavements and footpaths need to be fixed or reconstructed.
Anyone who hails from the capital of West Bengal knows about its recreational parks and brightly lit streets. Its traffic police deserve special mention for redirecting rush traffic every day as Kolkata roads are narrow and many are one-way streets.
During Durga Puja, the city tries to make Pandals differently-abled friendly by installing ramps.
It won the categories – ‘Road Lighting & Maintenance’ and ‘Road Safety For Children’.
But the City of Joy needs to work more on giving its residents #HappyRoads. Issues of waterlogging and numerous street hawkers, roadside vendors in busy areas need to be solved.
There’s no one who’s been to Delhi and not praised its excellent connectivity. Delhi prides itself for broad roads, top-notch metros, pavements and foot over bridges. The national capital surely serves as an example for cities across India when it comes to road connectivity hence, it won the categories ‘Connectivity’ and ‘Road Quality’ in the Road Safety Index.
While Delhi has made many of its public places differently-abled friendly, the areas that need improvement are long hours in traffic, fixing of roads that pose a hindrance to daily commute and rash driving by bikers.
The city boasts well-marked zebra crossings, adequate footpaths for pedestrians, underground SMART dustbins, reduced encroachments. Raipur fares well in almost all parameters of road safety. It won the category of ‘Road Safety’ and ‘Pedestrian Rights’.
However, the city could do better with stricter fines for traffic violators and awareness about road safety and garbage disposal.
Other cities can take inspiration from Chennai on how to ensure good road safety. The city has wide, well-connected roads that are lit properly. It also boasts rigorous night patrolling where traffic rules violators are fined. One of the best initiatives taken by Chennai is the separate parking space on city roads that prevent traffic from accumulating. It came out on top in the category ‘Motor Laws & Traffic Control’.
Areas where Chennai needs to improve are street lighting and cleanliness.
Indore is one of the few cities that has used plastic waste for construction of roads and covered garbage disposals, which explains why the city won the ‘Road Cleanliness’ category. Indore also has adequate zebra crossings, visual signals, street lights, footpaths.
But areas where the city needs improvement are – strict action against traffic violators, public spaces more differently-abled friendly.
There is a lot to learn from the road safety measures implemented by Ahmedabad – sound medical facilities, separate lanes for local buses, special cab service for differently-abled, wide roads. Ahmedabad won in the category ‘Emergency Services’, ‘Road Transport Infrastructure’ and ‘Heavy Vehicle Traffic Management’.
If the Heritage City improves road safety awareness among citizens, it’s bound to fare even better. Better street lighting and lesser encroachments will work in favour of Ahmedabad.
The other cities shortlisted were Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad but they didn’t win any category.
Maruti Suzuki’s initiative to rank cities will encourage citizens and administration to do better and emerge on top.
The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly appreciates the various initiatives undertaken by Maruti-Suzuki in this direction. Not only the government but we, as citizens of this country, should also pledge to make our roads safe. One of the first steps towards this is that we understand our duties.
We hope the authorities take a note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads.
For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Indexclick here.