The love in my body and heart
For the earth’s shadow and light
Has stayed over years.
With its cares and its hope, it has thrown
A language of its own
Into blue skies.
It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night’s buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future’s hand.
— Rabindranath Tagore
Before I start I would like to thank Nizamabad MP Sri Kalvakuntla Kavitha garu for emphasising the importance of wearing a helmet with an awareness campaign “Sisters4Change”. As part of the campaign on the auspicious brother sister festival, Rakhi Pournami, sisters are asked to gift their brothers a Helmet with Rakhi which accentuates the importance of wearing a helmet. In my opinion, this is unique and emotional, a message cannot be any sweeter than this. The origin of Raksha Bandhan can be traced back to the mythological times, which recounts the power of the sacred thread on many occasions such as Lord Indra winning war against Demon king Bali, Lord Krishna helping Draupadi in return to her Rakhi promise, in modern day history King Porus leaving King Alexander with out killing abiding to the promise given to Alexander’s wife Roxana in return of rakhi are few of the incidents from history which proves the respect and power of Rakhi. Raksha Bandhan has also played an important role in keeping Bengal united against the British plans of dividing Bengal in 1905 on Religion basis. Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate for literature, invoked and arranged ceremonies to celebrate Raksha Bandhan to strengthen the bond of love and togetherness between Hindus and Muslims of Bengal this forced the British to reverse their decision and re-unite the Bengal back in 1911. Raksha Bandhan having such great history, responsibility might be one of the reason MP Kavitha Madam has chosen Rakhi festival for the awareness on Helmet with the campaign “Sister4Change”.
In these busy day’s two-wheeler has become mandatory for every family irrespective of rich, poor, employee, student Businessman either to go to work, college or to drop kids in the school or for social and recreation purpose. With this ever-growing demand number of bikes on roads are constantly increasing. In 2002 there were 37 Million registered bikes but now this figure has crossed 50 Million. Roads are getting packed with an average of 53700 new vehicles such as Cars, autos, lorry’s added to roads every day to the already existing 22,536,000, in this motor rush Bikes, cyclists are becoming more vulnerable to the danger of getting crushed or knocked down by one of those big vehicles. Government of India Ministry of Road Transport & Highways Transport Research wing, in 2015 alone a total of 1,44,391 two wheelers met with accident and among them 36,803 got killed, 34,057 had fatally injuries and another 1,35,343 are injured. This report also says that Share of two wheelers in total road accidents has increased continuously from 26.3 per cent in 2013 to 27.3 per cent in 2014 and 28.8 per cent in 2015. Most of the blame goes on our unsafe over packed roads but these numbers could have been significantly lower, if riders had helmets.
The UN Motorcycle Helmet Study says, “Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a road crash than drivers of passenger cars. Wearing an appropriate helmet improves their chances of survival by 42% and helps avoid 69% of injuries to riders.” It is the young who die the most in the two wheeler accidents. A motorcycle crash can result in deadly head injuries that can often be so fatal that the injured can never come to normal even if survived. Doctors say, when your head hits the pavement or the ground your brain is moves forward, hitting up against the bones inside the skull. It gets deformed and tears nerve fibre’s. The torn ones cannot heal. When you lose a brain cell, there is no replacement for it. That’s where permanent damage occurs. Even if you survive there could be severe implications on your health such as lose some intelligence, and the capacity to take care of themselves because of the damage to the system that controls their muscles. They may have a behavioural change – have difficulty dealing with other people, and having proper social relationships” and all this, just because a motorist did not wear a helmet.
For those who shy away from wearing a helmet, the reasons range from heat and humidity to vanity to fear of hair fall. But for those who do use them regularly, it is a question of safety and habit. Tie a cotton cloth to your head if you are worried about static electricity and hairfall. Riders need to understand that Helmets are for safety and not wearing a helmet is a choice between life and death. Our sisters are coming forward emphasising the safety of wearing the Helmet. Our families are tied up with strong emotional bonds and loss of any individual will derail the entire family and sometimes everything is gone to a state which never comes back. I really hope all the brothers will listen to their sisters and will not let their families dreams crash soak with blood on the roads. And the same applies to the sisters, mothers and every citizen of this country that safety comes first while they are on their bike or in the car. Next time you head out on a two-wheeler without wearing a helmet, stop and think again about you and your family.