Human chain in Mumbai for road safety

Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) Thousands of school children will form a human chain here Monday to mark the Second UN Global Road Safety Week, an official said here.

The Safe Kids Foundation (SKF), in association with the UN General Assembly, will organise the human chain near the high traffic area of Sion station in central Mumbai. The event is marked all over the world.

“The Long Short Walk, a World Walk for Road Safety” is an initiative of the Zenani Campaign, in memory of 13-year-old Zenani Mandela, Nelson’s Mandela’s great-granddaughter who was killed in a road crash, said a spokesperson of SKF.

“Short walks from various countries across the world will be joined to form one long walk to raise awareness on the need for safety,” the spokesperson added.

The initiative, dedicated to pedestrian safety, will contribute to achieving the goal ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020’ to save five million lives.

So far the Safe Kids in the India leg has managed to touch nearly one million young lives aged between five and 14, through educational drive and pamphlets with the message: “Look both sides before you cross, if not you can face a major loss!”

Citing official statistics, the spokesperson said that in India, more than 7,800 children are killed in road accidents and many more disabled every year.

At the global levels, the number of kids who perish in road accidents is a staggering 133,000 per annum.

“Most of them were on their way to school. They lost their lives only because of lack of awareness regarding road safety,” the spokesperson explained.

With a presence in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and New Delhi, the SKF is part of the Safe Kids Worldwide with a presence in 23 countries.

Guided by Rupa Kothari, SKF hopes to touch the lives of 283,000 children through classroom sessions and local teacher training programmes each year.

The SKF claims its initiatives have born success as the number of child pedestrians involved in accidents in Mumbai according to official figures, has come down from 59 in 2010 to 34 in 2012.

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