Chandigarh remembers road traffic victims

November 16th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Nov 16 (IANS) Mourning relatives, social woerkers, students and professionals Sunday came together here to remember their near and dear ones and those who lost their lives in road accidents in the city.The occasion was the United Nations ‘World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’.

Balloons were released in the air in the memory of the victims of road accidents from boats in Sukhna lake. And an exhibition, with 300 pairs of shoes, representing the number of fatalities happening everyday throughout the country, depicted the huge loss of life.

“Indian roads hold the distinction of having the maximum road fatalities in the world. It is a startling statistic that India has just one percent of the world’s vehicles, but accounts for 10 percent of the world’s road accidents,” said Harman Sidhu, president of Arrive Safe, a non-government organisation (NGO) working here for road safety.

Road traffic accidents are the second leading cause of deaths globally among young people aged five to 29 years and the third leading cause of deaths among people aged 30 to 44 years, pointed out Sidhu.

“Road traffic accidents alone kill 105,000 people and over one million people incur serious injuries every year in India. However, there are many cases of road accidents that went unrecorded,” Sidhu said.

Arrive Safe, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) and AIESEC, an international student organisation, jointly held the event.

Twenty international students of AIESEC, who are in Chandigarh these days, also took part in the event.

“Road Peace, the United Kingdom-based charity for road traffic victims, initiated the day of remembrance for road traffic victims in 1993. Since then, the day has been observed and promoted worldwide,” said Aastha Malik, a representative of AIESEC.

Malik added: “Taking note of this, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution Oct 26, 2005, to improve global road safety. The resolution called for the third Sunday in November to be recognised as an annual day of remembrance for road traffic victims.”

Ramneek Seikhon, who lost her 25-year-old son Karan Seikhon in a road accident in February 2007, emphasised the need of better management on the part of administration to minimise the road accidents.

“There should be police ambulance vehicles at every two kilometers and traffic policemen should also know how to give preliminary first-aid to the injured. My son’s life could have been saved if he had got the first aid treatment in time,” Ramneek said.

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