This Bengaluru Traffic Police Inspector Rajesh who is gifting saplings to traffic violators

Inspector LY Rajesh is a pakka environmentalist. On Saturday, he handed out saplings and a message to traffic violators; on other days, he spreads the green word in schools and among colleagues

Traffic violators on Hosur Road witnessed a different type of Gandhigiri on Saturday morning. Their heart sure skipped a beat when a traffic policeman flagged them down for breaking the law but what happened next was truly unbelievable.

Not only were the policemen armed with the usual traffic challan gadgets, they also had a bunch of saplings that they handed out – as a lifelong lesson.

The idea was the brainchild of Inspector LY Rajesh who handles both law and order and traffic duties in Attibele.

“I have seen many accidents on this road and people commit the same mistakes every day. When they pay a fine, they move on without learning any lesson. This is why I gave them a sapling as I wanted to educate them. When this saplinggrows into a tree, they will be reminded of their mistake each time they look at it. Hopefully, then they will never commit the same mistake again,” he said.

Bangalore Mirror noticed the Inspector and his men at the Guest Line signal near Attibele. In the one hour that BM was there, the Inspector had personally handed out at least 30 saplings. Among the traffic violators were people with kids on the bikes (triple riding); a pregnant lady riding pillion and the rider, both without helmets; and some car drivers not wearing a seat belt.

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“All of these violators had to be told what will happen if they do not follow traffic rules. Also, they should be rewarded in some way or the other so that they always remember their mistake and have a happy and safe ride,” said Rajesh.

Rajesh’s green initiation started two years back when he saw Delhi’s infamous smog first-hand. Coupled with vehicular exhaust and suspended particulate matter (from construction activity and smoke-spewing factories), the fog in Delhi becomes a thick blanket limiting visibility to a few metres. Rajesh knew that something had to be done to stop the same happening to Bengaluru.

“At times, I go to schools and teach children about the importance of plants and bio-diversity; I even give them saplings. Class 8 students are a little mature and giving the saplings to them makes sense since they will be in school for another three years till they finish Class 10. They can see the plants growing and there will be a sense of responsibility among them towards the environment,” he said.

“These kids will grow up soon and if not taught about road discipline now, they will probably violate traffic rules,” he said, adding that this helps him address two major issues in one visit. Nihal Pandey (name changed), a traffic violator said: “We were in a hurry. When police told us about the numerous accidents on this road and gave us this sapling, we realized our mistake. We will ensure this doesn’t happen again and will also take care of this gift properly.”

Rajesh has given saplings to his subordinates too. “I have given saplings to all of my policemen. They conduct meetings with the locals and bond with each other by giving saplings.”Inspector LY Rajesh, you and your team have our green thumbs-up too.

Article originally published on Bangalore Mirror
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