Road safety ini­tia­tive: Mem­bers of par­lia­ment and me­dia in­ter­ac­tion

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As part of the on­go­ing ‘road safety’ ini­tia­tive, Con­sumer VOICE or­gan­ised a meet of mem­bers of par­lia­ment and me­dia on 6 April at Chelms­ford Club, New Delhi. The main ob­jec­tive was to de­lib­er­ate on the topic ‘Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act Amend­ment Bill 2016: Tough Jour­ney and the Road Ahead’.

Mem­bers of par­lia­ment Os­car Fer­nan­des (ex-min­is­ter, trans­port), KTS Tulsi, P Bhat­tacharya, Dr (Prof.) Kirit Premjib­hai Solanki, Prab­hatsinh Chauhan, Shankarb­hai N Ve­gad and Dr Pradeep Ku­mar Bal­muchu joined the dis­cus­sion as pan­el­lists and ex­pressed their views. They all sup­ported the pas­sage of MVA Bill 2016 in the on­go­ing ses­sion of par­lia­ment, point­ing out that the Bill was al­ready be­hind sched­ule and many lives were lost ev­ery day be­cause of road ca­su­al­ties. A strong Act will help ad­dress the is­sue.

A large num­ber of me­dia per­sons from var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions joined the event and in­ter­acted with the mem­bers of par­lia­ment. Con­sumer VOICE also pre­sented the re­sults of a short sur­vey that showed that 96 per cent of In­di­ans wanted the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act (Amend­ment) Bill, 2016, to be passed in the on­go­ing par­lia­men­tary ses­sion.

Con­sumer Con­ver­sa­tion Se­ries: Road safety

As part of its larger ini­tia­tive to foster con­sumer ed­u­ca­tion and em­pow­er­ment, Con­sumer VOICE or­gan­ised the third work­shop of the Con­sumer Con­ver­sa­tion Se­ries on 20 April 2017 at Gul­mo­har Hall, In­dia Habi­tat Cen­tre, New Delhi. The theme was ‘Road Safety Men­ace: Can the New Bill Ad­dress These Is­sues?’

A panel of road safety ex­perts – namely Nalin Sinha, Global Health Ad­vo­cacy In­cu­ba­tor, Ravi Prasad, chief en­gi­neer at min­istry of road trans­port and high­ways, and Saji Che­rian, direc­tor of op­er­a­tions at Save Life Foun­da­tion – shared their spe­cific pre­sen­ta­tions ad­dress­ing var­i­ous is­sue re­lated to In­dia’s roads.

Par­tic­i­pants from var­i­ous walks of life in­clud­ing stu­dents, pro­fes­sion­als, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, con­sumers, road safety ac­tivists and re­tired of­fi­cials from In­dian Air Force at­tended the event. A copy of Car Safety Book­let was also dis­trib­uted to the au­di­ence for them to un­der­stand the sub­ject better.

To­bacco con­trol: Ac­tiv­ity up­date

As part of its to­bacco in­ter­ven­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, Con­sumer VOICE sent re­quest let­ters to mem­bers of Fit­ment Com­mit­tee in nine states ask­ing for sup­port to­wards the ini­tia­tive of bring­ing all to­bacco prod­ucts in the de­merit goods cat­e­gory since they all con­trib­uted to cancer deaths. Con­cern re­gard­ing bidis be­ing taxed at a lower rate was high­lighted as these were not taxed heav­ily at present. Bidis con­trib­ute over 64 per cent of to­bacco prod­ucts con­sump­tion.

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