According to the statistical data published by WHO, road accident causes death every six seconds worldwide. On that basis, it can be deduced that six people lose their life in accident every day in Nepal. Now, two percent of death is caused by road accident. If road accident increases in the same ratio, eighty percent of the death will be caused by road accident in seven years time or till 2020 A.D. Safe Journey Campaign, Nepal was established with the belief and feeling that we should also contribute from nongovernmental sector to end this horrible situation.
Since after its establishment, Safe Journey Campaign, Nepal has been conducting many campaigns to lessen accident for the safe journey of passengers’ especially in Lumbini zone and nearby areas. It is due to untiring effort and polite request of the Campaign, transport entrepreneurs of this area are regularly conducting many trainings on rules and codes of driving to the workers affiliated to their organization. They are also conducting training programmes to their workers on how they should deal with the passengers. In such trainings, members of the organization are providing trainings voluntarily. The main objective of the organization is to conduct many constructive programs for the reduction of road accidents so that no one has to face untimely death due to road accidents.
Besides trainings and seminars, the organization is also conducting many awareness programmes to school students and youth club members on how we can use road safely for the reduction of accident so that everyone would be aware and careful before coming to the road, and so that they would not become the news/victims of road accident.
The organization is running its programmes and activities voluntarily in its own effort in spite of knowing the fact that it is almost impossible, and very difficult effort to reduce accidents from the small contribution made by the members, and without the co-operation of donor organizations. In this reference, the organization has continuously been organizing discussions on how we can make the section of Siddhartha Highway from Siddhababa to Dhovan safe, and recently proposed an alternative, which has been submitted to the honourable Chair Person of the Cabinet on 14 Asad in the presence of the former ministers Bishnu Paudel and Balkrishna Khand, who are devoted to the development of the area. Besides, a passenger information center is running at the Lumbini Bus Terminal, Butwal from the financial contribution of its members’ pocket money. That center has played a vital role for the passengers to solve their problems, and it has also played the role of mediator to solve and to facilitate the misunderstanding and conflict created between the transportation entrepreneurs or workers and the passengers.
Naturally/Instinctively, we do not pay as much concern to the loss of property as to the loss of human life in road accidents. But there is a bitter fact in front of us that the state loses the property of more than Rs. four billion a year because of road accidents, and this fact has always been overshadowed. Since the loss of human life is of prime concern for all of us, no one pays concern to the property loss. Until some years ago, transportation sector had been assailed by the relatives of the dead persons after the accident. There are so many cases of damage and fire of vehicles during a single road accident.
There have been many road accidents every day, and it has caused a great loss of human life and property but, except in the fit of anger, even the victims do not concern in the minimization of road accidents in the latter days. They do not want to be reminded of the accident after they get financial compensation as they think that it will be traumatic to them. In this situation, there is no other way than wishing there be no accident. Safe Journey Campaign, Nepal is trying its best to address the feelings of the victims of road accidents but the concerned authorities are maintaining their indifference to the problems. Established in the initiative of the youth of Butwal, Safe Journey Campaign, Nepal is running many services and awareness programmes on its own from the financial support of its members and local organizations. The data of the WHO has shown that more deaths are caused due to the lack of timely medical service or treatment after the accident than by accidents themselves. Considering this reality, the organization is preparing to establish Service Fund for the Victims of Road Accidents for the immediate treatment of the victims of road accidents. In addition to this, the organization is running a digital magazine yatrakhabar.com about the information of transportation sector, the problems, complaints, experiences, programmes and activities of transportation entrepreneurs and workers, the experience of passengers during the journey along with the views of transportation related agencies and other concerned authorities. Readers can read the magazine by logging on to www.yatrakhabar.com.
- Local Requirements and Upcoming Programmes
In terms of development, Lumbini Zone is in the front. Cities like Butwal, Bhairahawa, Tansen, Tamghas, Taulihawa, Krishnanagar, Sandhikharka, Parasi etc. are established as the main cities of the region. The ancient and historical city, and the business and industrial hub of the Western region, Butwal has occupied the leading position in terms of transportation service too. Bhairahawa/Siddharthanagar is also following it. Apart from theses cities, the emerging ciites like Kotihawa, Bhalwari, Mangalapur, Manigram, Pharsatikar, Murgiya, Saljhandi, Char Number-Jitpur, Gorusinge, Chandrauta, Khaireni, Sunawal, Bardaghat, Kawasoti, Aryabhanjyang, Rampur etc. are also moving towards development rapidly. Roads constructed in every tole and village of the region are the evidence/proofs of the developments.
Located in the midst of the country, Lumbini zone has been passed through by two national highways. Rupandehi district is at the front of all districts in every matter. In terms of business, the number of transportation entrepreneurs is very high in Rupandehi in comparison to other districts, and it is also known as the district of transportation entrepreneurs.
The meeting point of hilly and terai region, Rupandehi district is in the high position in terms of population and settlements. Population density is increasing rapidly. People are buying and using vehicles in the same ratio. There are roads constructed in every tole and village of the district. But the management of transportation is very weak. Local residents and stakeholders have not given due concern to the management of transportation. If the same trend persists, we must prepare ourselves to face terrible condition.
We are now dreaming of making Nepal as a developed modern country, and we are claiming that not only Rupandehi but also whole Lumbini is the residence of transportation entrepreneurs. We are also claiming that we are running our service to every cities and villages of the region, which are connected by the networks of roads. But we are not serious whether our contribution to traffic management is the matter of pride or not. Except the regular traffic management activities conducted by traffic police, other governmental or non-governmental organizations have not shown their concerns in traffic management of the district where more than twenty five thousand vehicles come to the road every day.
There is a lot to do in the field of traffic management of the region, which claims to have advanced to modernization so that no citizen should lose their precious life without any cause. For that traffic police alone cannot do much but the interest and the participation of the public is also of equal importance. It is the responsibility of its citizen to take an interest on road safety of the region. And it is also the duty and responsibility of the organizations related to transportation sectors to take interest, to play vital role in minimizing road accidents.
There are innumerable instances of road accidents in which non-related people to the victims have caused obstruction in transportation in the name of victims by blocking road in spite of the victims’ request not to do so, by causing unnecessary troubles and tortures to passengers and by setting fire and damaging the vehicles in emotion forgetting the prime importance of taking the accident victims to hospitals. Because of this the state and the entrepreneurs are losing millions of property. If we fail to bring these activities to an end, the number of tourists visiting the birth place of Lumbini is sure to decrease. There are many instances of tourists cancelling their tour to Nepal due to such news of road and transportation obstructions. We have not been able to make people realize that it is our duty to bring those activities to an end.
Likewise, we are of the bad habit of buying motorbike in tens thousands of money but not giving importance to wear helmets for our safety. Many youths have lost their valuable life in minutes on the road because of the wrong perception that wearing helmet is not for their safety but to show to traffic police. It is likely that most of the youths will lose their life on the road if family, tole and society do not take responsibility to change the situation. Statistics shows that the number of the youths between the age of sixteen and twenty nine is large in the deaths caused by road accidents, and most of them have lost their life in motorbike accidents.
It is expressed among the organizations related to transportation that traffic management and road accident are the main problems. Safe Journey Campaign Nepal, established with the objective of sensitizing public towards traffic management and minimization of road accident and of encouraging them to participate in the campaign against accident has undertaken this social responsibility itself.
- The main objectives of Safe Journey Campaign, Nepal
- Safe Journey Campaign, Nepal is an organization established with the pious intention of social service, and was registered in District Administration Office,Rupandehi. The objectives of the organization are directed towards the service of society and accident victims. It is necessary for any organization to get help from and coordination with other organizations to achieve its goal. Under the existing laws, rules and codes, the objectives of the organization are as follows:
- This is a non-profit making and public service oriented organization.
- To raise public awareness against road accident,
- To rescue and provide medical service to road accident victims,
- To provide educational, financial and legal help to road accident victims,
- To conduct trainings, seminars, awareness programme and information campaigns to minimize road accident,
- To find out the real cause of the accident by making field study of the accident,
- To encourage community and stakeholders to construct road scientifically,
- To encourage transportation entrepreneurs and workers to make transportation sector respectful,
- To encourage stakeholders for uninterrupted and safe journey by making them realize that using road is everybody’s fundamental right,
- To make an study of the problems of transportation sector and to advise concerned authorities to solve the problems,
- To conduct awareness programmes to road users about the rules, codes and the proper and safe use of road,
- To work actively to meet its objectives by establishing cooperation with traffic police, transportation management office, transportation entrepreneurs and workers, department of the road, insurance companies, municipalities and other organizations with similar objectives,
- To organize other constructive activities to achieve its goals and objectives.
- Some of the main works and participations of the organization in the past
- Broadcast of a radio programme ‘Safe Journey’on Butwal F.M. in personal initiation, coordination and investment of the Secretary of the organization Mr.Dinesh Pandey for three years regularly from 2059 B.S.,
- Conduction of a seven day training programme to the leading students of the schools of Butwal area about the safe use of road in 2060 B.S.,
- Conduction of a seminar to the members of the organizations of transportation entrepreneurs of Rupandehi district,
- Organized regular training programmes on safe driving and the role of trainers to the trainers of driving training schools,
- Organized interaction programme on the use of foot path in Butwal,
- Organized a seminar on the role of stakeholders in minimizing road accident,
- Organized a seminar on road discipline and the management of footpath in the presence of Japanese volunteer Kiyosi Baba as the chief guest,
- Conduction of road safety seminar to the journalists and media persons in financial support of NASA ,
- Pressurizing the organizations of the entrepreneurs of the area to create a favourable environment for regular training to drivers and the secretary of the organization is participating in those trainings as a volunteer trainer,
- The Secretary of the organization Mr. Dinesh Pandey was awarded by Nepal Police for his valuable contribution in traffic management in 2067 on occasion of Police Day in Pokhara,
- Proposed an alternative for the management of stray cows in Butwal,
- Working collaboratively with police in the management of footpath in Butwal,
- Presented a report of detail study for parking management in Butwal area,
- Publishing an online journal yatrakhabar.com with the objective of bringing the problems and activities of transportation sector to light,
- Participating regularly at the organizations of transportation workers as volunteer trainer,
- Presented a work plan of pollution free Lumbini, the import of new vehicles and the replacement of old ones in a special request of Western Nepal Bus Entrepreneurs’ Association, a leading and common organization of transportation entrepreneurs of the region,
- The Secretary of the organization Mr. Dinesh Pandey has been participating time to time as a trainer in training programmes for traffic police organized by/at Western Regional Police Training Center, Butwal,
- Managing passenger information center/desk at Lumbini Bus Terminal at Butwal with the help of Butwal Municipality,
- Playing a vital role in facilitating operating transportation smoothly after an accident, and mediating in the dispute to bring it into normal.
- Encouraged entrepreneurs to implement time card at Butwal-Belahiya sector, where many accidents had taken place because of high speed of the vehicles(this practice has been ineffective for a year due to the lack of regular monitoring),
- The Chairman and the Secretary of the organization Mr. Narayan Adhikari and Mr. Dinesh Pandey respectively participated as commentators in Road Safety Congress held in Kathmandu on Poush 4-5, 2070,
- The Secretary of the organization Mr. Dinesh Pandey participated in a one day seminar on road safety held in Kathmandu on January 5, 2014 A.D.,
- Presented a concept paper on the importance of community traffic police to Nepal Police Headquarter, Kathmandu, on behalf of the organization.