I live in the city of Chennai, India. Do you know what it has become famous for in recent years? The city has nearly become the Detroit of USA, going by the number of 4- wheelers and 2-wheelers it produces on daily basis. There are around 13 major manufacturers of automobiles of different varieties.
Recession may be lurking in a corner and inflation may be galloping right before our eyes, but there is no dearth of car and motor bike buyers. I wonder where these people get their money from.
It is difficult to walk on the roads these days. At any time of day or night, you would find the road space filled with vehicles, mostly two wheelers; most of them threatening to knock a pedestrian down.
The vehicle population in the state of Tamil Nadu is 14 million of all types as in August 2011. It may have gone up by another half a million by now. The 2-wheelers top the list – 11 .5 million and of these 2.6 million are in Chennai city alone.
What is more disturbing is that these vehicles have become giant killers. In the year 2010 alone, the deaths in Tamil Nadu roads were a whopping 65,000. This is quite close to the national figure of 150,000.
Why should we get into lime light like this for wrong reasons? Is life so cheap in our State? Over 1.2 million are injured and over 3 million disabled in the whole of India. Our roads are good and one would be tempted to drive at a cruising speed of 100 kmph on highways. One often sees youngsters flying at 60 and 70 in their two wheelers right on the city roads. Now, you know why accidents occur.
The dead are dead and gone. One may not even remember their names after some six months. But what about those who have been seriously injured. A visit to the government hospitals would reveal how some young lives have been severely dented and put out of action. A lost leg or a hand cannot be retrieved. A head injury puts a man completely out of normal life for the rest of his life. He is a living dead, as it were !
You may ask why I am lamenting over these figures. Supposing the injured happens to be your own brother or sister or even wife. Would you forgive the chap who had caused this damage?
The question is what do we do about the road accidents? What do you and I and the third person over there do to minimise the casualties?. We need to put our thinking cap on and find ways and means. Let’s not sit quiet all because none of our near and dear ones have been affected. Shed tears for the wounded and debilitated and pray to God to give good sense to the vehicle owners.