Banned ambassador?

Despite being felicitated by the CM, actor Jackie Shroff was missing from most events of the Road Safety Fortnight, allegedly due to mismanagement

Whether the recently concluded Road Safety Fortnight organised by regional transport offices (RTOs) and Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) has made the city's streets any safer will be gauged in the days to come, but the one aspect that has raised eyebrows is the missing brand ambassador. MiD DAY had reported on January 3 (He came, he saw, he became brand ambassador) how actor Jackie Shroff was anointed after being invited to the unveiling of the drive by WIAA, with RTO officials scratching their heads to fathom the reason behind his presence.

Off the blocks: CM Prithviraj Chavan and his deputy Ajit Pawar felicitate
Jackie Shroff after the actor was appointed brand ambassador for the
Road Safety Fortnight at Marine Lines on January 2. file PIC

Road Safety Fortnight concluded on January 16 with the RTOs of Andheri, Wadala and Tardeo bringing down the curtains on the event for this year. Now, RTO officers say that Jackie was missing from the nearly 100 different programmes - including eye checkups for drivers, fitness tests of vehicles, painting contests for kids etc - that were organised as part of the drive.

They claim that the actor wasn't in contact with them and they didn't know how or what for to get in touch with him. "There was no official note on what functions Jackie Shroff will actually attend. So we didn't know how to call him," said an official from Tardeo RTO.

"Many of these functions included drivers of public transport vehicles like autos, taxis and buses and it would have become difficult to control the crowd if Jackie had come," said another officer from Andheri RTO.

WIAA had recommended the actor's name as brand ambassador. "Jackie Shroff did attend one of our functions and distributed helmets to people. In fact he is the brand ambassador until a new one is chosen," said Nitin Dossa of the association.

When MiD DAY contacted Jackie Shroff, he said that he had gone to Bhandup to attend one of the functions on road safety. "I distributed helmets and told people about the need to drive carefully. They should realise that parents and children are waiting for them back home," he said.

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