Pallavi Rachel George, a final year Economics Honours student at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University is working towards the cause of road safety in Delhi through her initiative The Buckle Up Campaign which has recently launched in the month of October 2015.
It all began when Pallavi was looking into road safety after an internship with Save Life Foundation, an NGO which caters to road safety and emergency care. As part of her internship, she went through several FIRs filed in Delhi police stations. Reading the reports encouraged her to look into India’s road accident statistics. A while after this internship, Pallavi was invited to apply for a grant programme with Youth Service America. The aim of the programme was to make India’s roads safer. Soon she was informed that she had been selected. Thus, Youth Service America, along with Underwriters Laboratories became the guiding force behind turning her desire to bring a change in society into a reality.
Currently the team have around 20 members wherein the core team members are all from St. Stephen’s College, but they have volunteers from other colleges as well. As road accidents is the leading cause of death in youngsters, and hence the team wants the youth of Delhi to come forward and actively participate in reclaiming their roads. Through road safety audits, interactive sessions with school children and several other outreach programmes, The team wish to get the message across. They believe that as citizens of Delhi, we all need to be aware that when we are on the road, we are not only responsible for our own lives, but for others lives as well.
Talking about the challenges that the team is currently facing Pallavi says “Perhaps the biggest challenge lies in the fact that all of us are college students! We work on our campaign amidst internal examinations, projects and several other college society commitments, and this takes a huge toll on us. Moreover, we have faced some amount of rejection because being college students, it is very difficult for authorities to take us seriously. However, we as a team believe that with time, we will be able to reach the communities that we hope to reach.”
In terms of funding the campaign is supported by the grant delivered from Youth Service America, an American non-profit organization which advocates youth action across the globe. The volunteers who are supporting the team to do the road safety audits had a great learning experience and felt it really was an eye-opener. They stood at intersections and noted down traffic violations. The team also organized a lot of competitions to spread the awareness about the issue.
Recently the team has collaborated with Humara Bachpan, a national campaign to provide a safe and healthy environment for children living in urban areas. They also have plans for a petition for making the method of obtaining a driving license more rigorous.
To connect with Pallavi and The Buckle Up Campaign: