Road Safety: Citizen mimes safety messages to save lives
Here are some positive stories that came our way this July
Miming the message
In 2014, Chennai-based Veeramani Sekar, a hearing-impaired bank manager, met with an accident while on his bike with his daughter. Although neither was injured, Veeramani was deeply shaken by this close shave. "I was riding my bike very carefully; and all of a sudden a vehicle rammed into me. This accident was an eye-opener," he says.
Determined to educate others in basic traffic guidelines, the 37-year-old joined Thozhan, a citizen's initiative, three years ago and now spends weekends at traffic signals spreading the message of road safety using mime.
With barely 60 to 90 seconds for his message in the midst of a noisy crossing, Veeramani mimes mini stories to cars and motorbikes waiting at traffic signals, as other volunteers from Thozhan hand out flyers to them.
"When we speak, people ignore us. But when we go to them wearing bright make-up and a tight black suit, they get curious …" says the Good Samaritan. He also shows appreciation for those following the rules, giving a thumbs up to people wearing seatbelts and helmets. Many return the gesture in appreciation of his efforts!
Funds for e-learning
When children benefit from education, it bodes well for the future. Google.org, the global tech giant's philanthropic unit, pledged $3 million in funding to two Indian non-profits to boost curriculum development and teacher training through technology-based education.
Central Square Foundation (CSF), a grant-making organization will get $2 million and technical support from YouTube Learning to help launch video content in Hindi and other languages for e-learning. The remaining million will go to TheTeacherApp to train educators professionally.
The initiative will go a long way in addressing issues such as learning gaps and limited resources. TheTeacherApp, for example, aims to help one million educators in India in the next five years by creating hundreds of new courses, podcasts and toolkits. Nothing could be better!