Safe Kids India: Our Best Prevention Idea
This is the third in a series of 10 guest blog posts from the leaders of Safe Kids Worldwide affiliates that FedEx works with around the world in support of child pedestrian road safety initiatives. With tens of thousands of vehicles on the world’s roadways, FedEx is actively engaged in promoting road safety. This month we will hear from Rupa Kothari, Executive Director, Safe Kids Foundation India.
Pedestrian safety issues were always a major concern for the people belonging to metropolitan cities like Mumbai, where the number of road traffic crashes reached an alarming rate. There had been very little action taken on the issue – until Safe Kids India and FedEx teamed up for the Walk this Way program in 2007.
I recall an incident shared by a principal of Holy Name High School in Mumbai, about a student who had no knowledge about the importance of pedestrian safety. Anne, an 11 year-old girl, said her father always took the “No Entry” lane to drop her to school on a motorbike, which is very dangerous and leads to many injuries.
There was an obvious need to bring in behavioral changes among people for pedestrian safety, and that’s what Walk This Way is all about. Safe Kids India and FedEx believed that children would be the best beneficiaries of these changes. We collaborated with the association of Municipal School Teachers, Traffic Police department, schools, NGO’s and other like-minded organizations in an effort to reach children with important safety messages.
After the implementation of our program, there has been no looking back. Safe Kids Walk This Way has reached more than 1.2 million children through nearly 2,000 schools. Beyond training sessions, 1.7 million children participated in activities related to pedestrian safety and we are seeing results both in the mindset of the children and the declining numbers of tragedies involving children.
Anne now even makes sure her father avoids the “No Entry” lane and her parents are very impressed with the Walk This Way training conducted in the school.
None of our growth or success would be possible without the constant support of FedEx. We have been receiving continuous support from FedEx volunteers. Last year, 57 FedEx volunteers participated in Safe Kids Walk This Way programs.
Due to our relentless efforts every year, Safe Kids India consistently receives ‘Commendatory Notes’ from the Joint Commissioner of Traffic Police, Mumbai in appreciation of the good work done in Road Safety.
On February 18, 2014, Safe Kids India won an award in the Best Prevention Category as part of the World CSR Congress (Global NGO Excellence Summit and Awards).
FedEx has played a crucial role by supporting Safe Kids India to spread and raise awareness of child pedestrian safety.