ICICI Lombard’s ‘Drive Thru’ rally that was organized today at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi provided children an exciting and fun way to learn about the importance of wearing helmets while riding on a two-wheeler. Similar rallies were organized in Pune and Mumbai as well. The rally in New Delhi was attended by more than 1,200 children who had come to the event with their parents. The ‘Drive Thru’ rally was organized as part of ICICI Lombard’s unique ‘#RideToSafety‘ CSR initiative, which seeks to spread awareness about the importance of wearing helmets for child pillion riders.
To make it interesting for children, a special magic show was organized, as part of the program. The magician performed some cool tricks, all while informing the children about the need to wear helmets. The children appeared quite engrossed and could be seen attentive to what the magician had to say. There was also a rib-tickling mimicry show, wherein popular cartoon characters Donald Duck and Rancho interacted with children and informed them about the merits of helmet use among child pillion riders. Their funny conversations made the children laugh out loud and respond with a thunderous applause.
One of the key dignitaries present at the event was RSS leader Indresh Kumar, who conducted a fun, interactive session with the children on the topic of road safety. Indresh Kumar shared some entertaining stories with children as well as several tips and suggestions related to road safety. The children appeared quite enthusiastic, as Indresh Kumar asked them to take the pledge to follow road safety rules and regulations. During one of the conversations, all the children raised both their hands, as a confirmation to follow road safety rules.
After the children had their share of fun and learning, it was time to launch the ‘Drive Thru’ rally. The rally was flagged off by Mr. NitinGadkari, Honorable Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping and Mr. BhargavDasgupta, MD & CEO, ICICI Lombard. NitinGadkari interacted with children and their parents and shared with them some key statistics related to road accidents. He also shared valuable information about how accidents can be reduced just by following a few simple road safety rules.
The motivation for launching the unique ‘Ride to Safety’ CSR initiative came after reports revealed some grim statistics about road accidents in the country. Around 20 children below 14 years of age lose their lives every day on Indian roads. The situation is acute for two-wheelers as nearly 25% of all road accidents in the country involve two-wheelers, the highest among all vehicles. Out of this, 7% involve children. As per a report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 1,622 people lost their lives to deadly road accidents in Delhi in 2015, making it the ‘Accident Capital’ of India. ICICI Lombard conducted a research and found that the primary reason for such accidents were lack of awareness and non-adherence to the basic rule of safety — wearing a helmet. It prompted the company to launch the #RidetoSafety CSR initiative.
Speaking on the occasion, ICICI Lombard MD & CEO BhargavDasgupta said, “Ride to Safety campaign is part of our vision to contribute to the community at large. This unique CSR program emphasizes that children as pillion riders incorporate the road safety habit of wearing a helmet from a young age. Our aim is to see each and every two wheeler riding child with a helmet. We have already distributed 24,000 child-specific ISI-mark helmets to children. We are committed to this initiative and will be distributing 1,00,000 helmets in the next 5 years to children riding two wheelers as pillion riders”.