Recently, a circular has been issued by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Samba, Jammu and Kashmir, which says that all District Officers are to ensure that every employee working in all the departments installs “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” (BBBP) as their ringtone in their Jio mobile numbers. When The Logical Indian contacted the office of the Deputy Commissioner, they confirmed that the circular has been issued and also said that all employees have already changed their ringtones.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao funds and spendings
The idea of making BBBP ringtone mandatory is to make people more aware about the importance of the initiative. Let’s take a look at the funds that were allocated for the scheme and how much of it was utilised;
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development said last year that 90% of the funds allocated for BBBP was not utilised in the year 2016-2017.
Out of a total amount of Rs 43 crore that was set aside for BBBP in the fiscal year 2016-2017, a mere Rs 5 crore has been utilised so far, according to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, reported The Economic Times.
Similarly, the amount of money spent on this scheme in 2017-18 was also less than one-tenth of Rs 59.37 crore spent on BBBP in the previous fiscal year.
The way the circular has been issued, the ringtone seems more like an imposition rather than sensitising people about the girl child. BBBP would better perform and do more good if its loopholes are fixed.
The need of the hour is not for government officials to listen to BBBP song but ensure that the policy is properly enacted.
The Logical Indian take
In 2014, when the Narendra Modi government came to power, they gave people fresh hope and pledged to avoid ending up like its predecessor – the UPA regime.
BJP seemed like a party which will stand beside women and uplift millions of people out of poverty with their fast-paced development. Four years down the line, the BJP government and its backers are cracking down on dissent. Also, the way BJP insists on implementing policies, it is clear that there is haste in the way they want to impose their diktats. The ‘mandatory ringtone’ is not an isolated incident.
After the Prime Minister’s ‘Pariksha Par Charcha’ programme that took place on February 16, all schools were asked to send video proof that every student watched the programme. Last year during Independence Day, all schools across the country was issued a circular as to how should the day be celebrated and video proof was sought to substantiate it.
The government needs to prioritise and not invest time is trivial topics such as the ringtone of its employees.
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.