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Rakshak For Road Safety

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday inaugurated the first responder’s training program – Rakshak, a road safety initiative to save precious lives.

It is the first of its kind State-level programme in the country where 30,000 volunteers staying or working at the eateries and different business establishments located near accident prone spots will be trained as First Responders to road accidents.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “Road accidents are a serious cause of concern for all of us. This has a serious impact on families and our economy. In a road accident situation the first hour after the incident is the most critical for saving lives.”

“All of us are good Samaritans. Nothing is more pious than saving human lives. There is also a reward of Rs.2000 for the people who help road accident victims,” he said.

This capacity building programme is being organised by the State Transport Department in partnership with GIZ and Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State branch.

Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera talked about the Solatium fund. In ‘Hit & Run’ cases, accident victims are eligible for compensation through the Solatium Fund. Legal heir of a deceased is entitled to get Rs. 2 lakh compensation while a critically injured person is entitled to get Rs 50,000 under this scheme, he said.

 “Fatalities can be averted if victims are provided medical care within the first hour. It is very critical that first responders are properly trained to handle the road accident scenario,” the Minister said.

The training programme will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase 300 master trainers will be trained in training of trainers (TOTs) by experts from Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC).

Master trainers include volunteers from Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State Branch and NGOs across the state. The TOTs will be conducted at 10 places – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Koraput, Phulbani, Sundergarh, Keonjhar and Bhawanipatna.

After the TOT, in the second phase these 300 master trainers will go to accident prone areas in all the 30 districts and train and empower the local people to render help to the victims of road accidents.

These 30,000 first responders will be equipped to administer first aid and pre-hospital trauma care to accident victims within the golden hour. The First Responders will also educate and inform people about road safety measures and the Good Samaritan law.

On this occasion, Odisha Public Transport and Integrated Commuter System (OPTICS) was inaugurated by the Chief Minister.

Behera informed that through the OPTICS application, citizens will be able to know about bus at a location, bus between locations, bus information such as RC, permit, route and time. Apart from this citizens can rate buses as per their journey experience. Citizens can also file complaints against a bus for specific reasons, he informed.

Madhu Sudan Padhi, Principal Secretary, Commerce & Transport in his welcome address highlighted that about 1.5 lakh people lose their lives in road accidents across the country every year.  In our State also, annually more than 5,000 people are killed in accidents.

“Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety is monitoring the Road Safety activity of the State on a regular basis. Road safety is a high priority area for our Government and we are taking a lot of initiatives for reduction of road accidents in the State,” Mr.Padhi said.

Transport Commissioner cum Chairman, State Transport Authority Arun Bothra proposed the vote of thanks during the meeting.