Mumbai: NGO steps in to help reduce traffic deaths

Sep 17, 2018, 15:56 IST | Suraj Ojha

Non-profit organisation is helping Traffic and Motor Vehicle departments educate road users to improve post-crash care response within golden hour

Mumbai: NGO steps in to help reduce traffic deaths
Jeevan Doot volunteers train those closest to accident sites on how to help victims

Not only has the traffic department got down to blocking a couple of the city's deadliest spots for starters, a Mumbai-based NGO will be training shopkeepers and hawkers around these spots on post accident response, all thanks to mid-day's recent road safety campaign, Killer Roads.

United Way Mumbai (UWM) a non-profit organisation, which is part of the 130-year-old United Way movement spanning 41 countries, has been working hand-in-hand with the traffic department and Motor Vehicle Department to educate road users and improve post crash care response during the golden hour.

United for Road Safety (URS) is a special community impact initiative aimed at addressing various components of road safety. Since July 2016, this NGO has been working closely with the departments concerned. Under this project, 5,954 youths have been trained in safe two-wheeler riding skills via 200 training sessions.

Jeevan Doot volunteers train those closest to accident sites on how to help victims
Jeevan Doot volunteers train those closest to accident sites on how to help victims

Director, UWM, Ajay Govale said, "Many people lose their lives every year in road accidents the world over. Timely and appropriate intervention by first respondents can go a long way in preventing these deaths. Whatever is done or left undone during the first few minutes after a crash can determine largely whether the victim will survive or not. We are enabling those who spend a significant amount of time of the roads thanks to their job profiles, as well as everyday citizens, by imparting critical training on first response."

Govale added, "In our pilot phase of the Jeevan Doot initiative, we will be covering six black spots in the city. We have also gone through mid-day's reports about other spots in the suburbs and will cover these in our next phase."

According to officials from UWM,  Jeevan Doot is a project under the aegis of United for Road Safety and is powered by Tata Motor Finance Ltd. As per statistics, the number of accident-prone spots in Maharashtra has gone up by 100%, with the state registering 1,324 accident prone spots in 2018 compared to 634 last year, according to a report by a panel formed by the Supreme Court. Accident-prone spots, or black spots, are areas which witness five or more deadly accidents in three years.

The state ranks third in the country with about 12,250 road fatalities every year. With 51 'black spots', Mumbai ranks sixth on the list. Rural parts of Nashik district have the highest number of black spots. The term "Golden Hour" refers to the critical period between an accident and the time the victim receives medical aid. It is well established that the sooner the victim receives medical attention, the higher the chances of survival.

Sion luxury bus stop becomes training ground
This spot was identified thanks to a statistical update shared by the Mumbai Traffic Police on the list of the identified 51 black spots in the city. As per the report, Sion luxury bus stop has reported 19 grievous accidents, leaving 20 people badly injured. The increased number of accidents and injuries led the NGO to take up this spot as one of the Jeevan Doot training spots.

UWM has mobilised and trained 18 Jeevan Doots, who comprise people from the local community, shopkeepers, youths from mitra mandals and teachers from local anganwadis, training them on how to help road accident victims.

UWM has on board Life Supporters Institute of Health Sciences, a well-known training agency. Expert doctors trained all the first responders in basic first aid. Doctors from the 108 Ambulance service talked about the free service and basic information to give while placing a call. The Mumbai Traffic police talked about Good Samaritan Notification of the Supreme Court and encouraged all first respondents to come forward to help accident victims. In March 2016, the Supreme Court had approved guidelines issued by the Centre for the protection of Good Samaritans or first respondents from the police or any other authority.

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