Time we woke up to save our youngsters

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Aug 2018 10:04:51





- Vijay Phanshikar,

THE city of Nagpur was shocked to the bone a few days ago when it saw three college girls get crushed to death under a massive excavator used in construction activity. None of those girls wore a helmet. All of them rode on one single two-wheeler. They tried to overtake the excavator from the wrong side since they did not have patience to ride slowly until they got space to forge ahead from the right side. And so they lost their lives, plunging lakhs of people into a grief of unparalleled nature. That gory accident was expected to wake up the people to harsh realities of life. That does not seem to have happened. For, youngsters are still terribly careless about their conduct on roads. They wear no helmets. They do not bother to stop at the red signals. They are not concerned about their own or others’ safety while using the road. And there is nobody to stop them, not even their families. 

This may be a Nagpur-specific picture, some might say. But it is necessary for us to take good look at how the larger society conducts itself on the roads not just in one city but everywhere and anywhere in India. It is to this picture that I propose to draw everybody’s attention in this edition of ‘Loud Thinking’. And as I do this, I propose to make a wild-sounding allegation that the families in the larger Indian society do not care for the safety and security and right conduct of their youngsters. This approach may make many very angry. But then, that is the very purpose. For, even a casual look at how we conduct ourselves on roads will tell us how vulnerable we make ourselves and what kind of precarious lives we live on roads. It is not without reason that the number of people getting killed in road accidents or disabled for life after the mishaps is so big in our country.

Despite this reality, we have refused to wake up and imbibe some discipline in ourselves and also our youngsters. All this is beyond sense. It is difficult to understand why people continue to behave in such a hopeless manner. And it is to this larger picture that I wish to draw everybody’s attention.

It is time we started disciplining our youngsters in right earnest. It is time we told them in non uncertain terms what their responsibilities are and how they should abide by those expectations. It is time we started getting stricter in schools and colleges to ensure that our youngsters behave well.

Obviously, there is something missing in our overall method of grooming our youngsters -- at home or in schools or in colleges or even in offices and organisations where our youths start working upon graduation from academia. If this obvious failure is not visible to us as a larger society, then we are worth nothing, to say the least. We must realise at this stage that those three Nagpur girls’ untimely and gory death should be treated as a wake up call -- for each one of us everywhere, far beyond Nagpur’s confines.