INDIA ROSE TO THE OCCASION
INDIA October 2010
A group of youths created quite a scare among traffic violators at Nashik Phata Chowk on Gandhi Jayanti. They handed out roses to every driver whose vehicle either stepped on to the zebra crossing or crossed the zebra crossing.
At 10 am, a few youths landed at the spot with a bag of roses. They kept a close watch on every vehicle that halted at the traffic signal. A rose each was handed out to anybody who touched the zebra crossing and told not to violate the rule again.
“The moment we rushed to violators, they were scared thinking we might do some harm to them. While the motorists tried to pull down windows, the two-wheeler riders moved behind,” said Amol Mahankale, one of the youths.
He said they handed out over 100 flowers and succeeded in passing the message to the traffic violators that they should adhere to the traffic rules and regulations not only for their safety but also in the larger interests of the traffic. “For the past couple of years, we have been doing this activity on Gandhi Jayanti. More or less, we have been able to drill into the minds of road users that adherence to traffic norms is mandatory for all.”
Many motorists, however, did not mind receiving the flowers. In fact, many of them smiled and received them while promising to keep traffic rule in mind next time they are at the traffic signal. Some of them were too embarrassed, who quickly made a getaway without taking the flowers from youths. The traffic police also joined the drive with the youths.
Avdhumbar Kalsaith, a newspaper vendor, said it was a good move to put traffic violators in place. “But unfortunately, this is a one-off activity. Something of this nature should happen everyday so that traffic sense is infused among road users.”
MUMBAI: On Gandhi Jayanti this Saturday, a small group of citizens, activists and policemen decided to do a bit of Gandhigiri for stain-free public places by offering roses to those who were caught spitting at Kurla railway station.
Stanley William, a male nurse at a local hospital, was among those surprised spitters who received a rose from a smiling GRP man assisting the fellow Gandhians. "You are a nurse, will you allow people to spit in your hospital? Take this rose and help us keep our public property clean," said senior police inspector, Dilip Gore, as Stanley smiled to hide his embarrassment.
President of Kurla Railway Passengers' Association, Subhash Gupta, managed to catch around 25 offenders within just half-hour of Gandhigiri. "Almost every spitter who got the rose immediately realised his mistake and promised not to do it again," said Gupta.
Interestingly, his fellow activists Manoj Chaubey and Anil Galgali pointed out that not a single woman was seen dirtying the station. "It seems that women have a better civic sense than men," said Galgali in a lighter vein.