The Roady Experience !!!

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This is about my first internship with NSS in the road safety campaign .

It was a result oriented project and I was driven to make my voice heard to all the authorities concerned and have an actual impact on improving the quality of roads,however little it might be.

I started off with a walk around my sector which was a roughly 5 km stretch to have a look at all those problems which plagued those roads and moreover tried to gauge the amount of impact it would create if a problem is resolved .Having toured through the entire sector and roads of my locality ,I had found some defects in the designing of roads and having faced these problems firsthand ,was determined to set about finding a solution for them.The problems to which I had decided to find a solution were :

  • a sharp 90 degree curve with no sign signaling its presence ,became dangerous especially during the rains,frequent crashes into the divider recorded.
  • a T -junction which was the ground zero for all morning traffic chaos ,could take as much as 15 minutes to cross 100 m.
    T Junction
    T Junction

    The sharp turn
    The sharp turn
  • a general problem widespread in Delhi viz. non functional streetlights which stood out even more as prime residential areas faced this problem

So to begin with I conducted many interviews with the daily commuters using that road such as residents of my own society ,hawkers sitting alongside the road and shopkeepers selling grocery. Initially I had thought it would be a tough task to ask everyone to present their views in front of  a camera but to my surprise they were all the more enthusiastic about having got an opportunity to present themselves on camera.The watchman of my society even asked me if I was submitting this to AAJTAK or some other news channel .The young guys who watched asked if I was doing this to make a publicity stunt on youtube.

After having taken their views and suggestions ,I racked my brain to find a good solution to the T -junction problem.After a good deal of net surfing and reading, the use of a roundabout seemed to be the perfect solution.Cheap ,improvizable and effective .So armed with all solutions to the problems I had raised ,I compiled a 4 page report and dispatched it straight to the DCP Dwarka. I was very hopeful of receiving a reply and I did get a reply ,although I did not expect a reply the very next day .He said that the process for the feasibility report has been initiated and for any further queries I should contact the ACP South West Delhi.I was overjoyed on having received a positive reply and then set about sending the same report to the SDMC(South Delhi Municipal Corporation).Within two days I had received an email of the problem being resolved which was rather absurd for I could not find any development taking place .Then after a week I sent another mail to SDMC(a sterner one) and to the DCP(a more polite one) asking him the ACP’s email id so that I could brief him before calling.I sent the mail to the ACP  and received mail from SDMC again stating problem resolved.This time I decided to wait and was greatly relieved and proud when after 2 weeks I saw a sign board signalling the sharp turn presence and also the street lights glowing with full might.

The sign before the sharp turn
The sign before the sharp turn
A better night scene
A better night scene

Although I could not get a roundabout built, some police vans did start staying there during peak hours to regulate traffic.

It gave me a huge sense of satisfaction to have completed this task to a good extent.As I stood at the balcony watching the rain drops under the newly installed lights,I thought that it is not always the government at fault.We are ready to stick to a task when it is for our personal gain ,when it comes to the society ,we try once and we remark “the govt. is useless “and that the whole system is corrupt,but perhaps our own attitude itself is allowing that environment to prevail.There are also people who want to bring about a change but are dragged down by the self-centered and selfish,who make all social service look sham.

I firmly believe that if we are to bring about a change we need to associate with the right people,people who are ready to argue ,debate and raise their voice about an important social concern to bring about a paradigm shift.The innocent question which I encountered, whether I was sending this to a news channel tells that even the poor ,not very literate are ready to raise concerns and bring it the fore ,so that a solution could be found but then again they have no resources nor the understanding of a how a video is posted on the internet.Perhaps the weaker sections of our society need to be educated and made aware of the mass media and their impact and more importantly how they can use it for the good of the society .

Thus I would conclude that it was a great learning experience which not only made me aware of important traffic regulatory rules and terminologies which are so important in today’s era of dominance of vehicles,but also instilled a great amount of respect for all those social workers who toil hard each day to make this society a better place.

Shubham Gupta

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