Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurates road safety program ‘Rakshak’

30 Weeks-30 Districts-300 Master Trainers-30000 First Responders


Bhubaneswar: The First Responder’s Training Programme – ‘Rakshak’; a road safety initiative to save precious lives was inaugurated by Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha today. It is first of its kind state level programme in the country where in 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, Chief Minister said, “Road accidents are a serious cause of concern for all of us. This has 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.”

He further added, “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.”

This capacity building programme is being organised by Commerce & Transport Department, Govt. of Odisha in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State branch.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Padmanabha Behera, Commerce & Transport Minister talked about Solatium fund. “In ‘Hit & Run’ cases, accident victims are eligible for compensation through Solatium Fund. As part of which the legal heir of a deceased is entitled to get Rs. 2 lakh compensation. A critically injured person is entitled to get Rs.50000 under this scheme.”

He further 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.”

Two Phases

The 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 Chief Minister. Shri Behera informed that through 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 reason.”

Earlier, Shri 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 regular basis. Road safety is a high priority area for our Government and we are taking lot of initiatives for reduction of road accidents in the state.”

Shri Arun Bothra, Transport Commissioner cum Chairman, State Transport Authority, Odisha proposed the vote of thanks.

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