A Helmet for Every Head
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 25 Mar 2021, 1:08 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
It was a unique drive in the Raipur district of Chhattisgrah, distributing 50,000 helmets to the needy person. The initiative took off under the astute leadership of the then SSP of the region, Mr. Arif Sheikh .
- The whole campaign was executed under the leadership of IPS officer Arif Sheikh
Everyday hundreds of road accidents are reported in India. The state & central government spend crores for awareness around road safety and safe driving. Still the condition remains the same. According to a recent study, India has only 1 percent of total vehicles in the world but accounts for 11% deaths in road accidents. Every year approx. 4.5 lakh road crashes are reported in which around 1.2 lakh people die. This is a very disturbing figure.
An initiative called ‘Har Head Helmet’ in Raipur, Chhattisgarh has been a great success in this regard. Under the leadership of the then SSP, Raipur Arif Sheikh, the Raipur police distributed around 50,000 helmets to the needy and created a massive drive for road safety awareness.
During a conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Hussain, who is currently posted as the DIG, Anti-Corruption Bureau talked about how the initiative came into place and was executed.
How it started
In 2019, an NGO approached Raipur police and donated 100 helmets. They wanted it to be distributed among people. “When we got the helmets, our first thought was how to distribute them. We could not do that randomly, as it might have lost the purpose then. That’s when we thought of coming up with an initiative which could be taken on a large scale and ‘Har Head Helmet’ come into existence”, said Mr. Sheikh.
Police was just a catalyst
Mr. Sheikh wanted to rope in more stakeholders, so that this could become an exercise for the whole of Raipur. An informative campaign was launched for the entire district and many NGOs, businessman came forward to donated the helmets.
Reclled Mr Sheikh : “We had 100 helmets and we wanted to be given to needy people only. We advertised about this and on the very first day around one thousand people applied for the helmets. This made us realize that we have to collect more helmets. We launched an advertisement campaign and stickers were put on various places including the barricades. Soon, many NGOs and community members came to donate the helmets. Then we started to send those to all the police stations in the district and points of distribution. We gave the helmets to only those who could not afford to buy one or those with defective helmets.”
The Raipur police team also made a record for distributing 16 thousand helmets in just six hours! This massive drive got its place in Golden book of World Records, Asia book of World Records and India book of Records. “Till now 2.5 crore worth of helmets had been distributed. The collection was possible through crowd sourcing only. The Police was just the catalyst and our only expenditure was on the advertisement and social media campaign”, added the officer.
All the helmets were ISI marked and the helmets which were exchanged were sent for recycling. This way, it turned out to be an environment friendly drive as well.
Sister gifted helmets to brothers
On the occasion of Independence- day and Rakshabandhan, the Raipur police launched another campaign. Mentioning these, Mr Sheikh said, “Rakshabandhan is celebrated across the country and on this day brothers promise to take care of their sisters. We however, gave a twist and requested the sisters to gift helmets to their brothers. This too turned out to be a successful campaign. In short, you can say that ‘Har head helmet’ became a movement and it this happened mainly because of the public participation. I think this could be replicated in the whole country because with this we can make people change their minds towards the safety gears. They will start thinking to wear helmet as their responsibility, and not just as obligation, to be save themselves from fine”.
For his unique endeavour, Mr Sheikh has been appreciated by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) as well.
END OF THE ARTICLE