In a country where a life is lost every four minutes in a road accident, inculcating sensible road behaviour in school children is necessary to make them responsible citizens.
To address the issue of road safety of children at the formative ages, workshops were initiated by the employees of ICICI Lombard who were engaged as volunteers. The workshops targeted imparting appropriate road safety values to school children at an early age that will inculcate safe road practices throughout their lives. Child-specific helmets to children riding two wheelers were also given to encourage them to follow appropriate safety measures.
Ride to Safety campaign is a nationwide initiative launched by ICICI Lombard to generate awareness on road safety in India. More than 100 workshops have been conducted in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Delhi since September 2015 that touched the lives of over 1,00,000 children and their parents. ISI-marked specially designed helmets were also given to 70,000 children post the workshops.
Addressing the issue of kids dying in the car due to suffocation, Maximus Films in association with Smile Foundation will be launching a public service film titled Headrest. The objective of the movie is to raise awareness around educating kids on alternative to break open the glass in case of emergency.
Committed to bringing awareness to issues affecting society at large, Headrest is directed by Sandeep Singh, who has previously shot for History channel. The movie is scheduled to be released during Road Safety Week 2019 with an aim of creating awareness on commuter safety in passenger vehicles especially for kids.
Speaking to The CSR Journal, the film’s director said: “I have been reading media reports on kids getting trapped either accidentally or while playing and later suffocating to death. As a parent, it bothered me tremendously. I have seen so many parents leaving their kids in the car for a quick shopping spree. This is dangerous!”
“Headrest has a three way plot: The Problem, The Solution and Eradication of a misconception about headrests. This public service film depicts the helplessness of a kid when she gets trapped in a car and her struggle to escape, which unfortunately proves futile. We need to understand that headrests are simply “Head Restraints” and are not meant for breaking the window glass in an emergency. There is a misconception that they can be used to break open the glass. Instead, we should have safety tools in the car and kids should be made aware about how to use them. In the west, it is mandatory to have a safety tool, then why can’t we have it India?” asks the director whose previous work includes the documentary Feeding On The Dead and public service film The Plight, based on the crisis of old age, picked by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Sandeep Singh is part of the new wave of conscious filmmakers who are making socially relevant cinema. “As a maker, I want to tell stories which bring a positive change and make the world a happier place to live .That’s probably why socially relevant films appeal to me. Earlier, public service films were mostly used by government machineries to spread awareness but in the current context, PSAs are a widely accepted communication vehicle for corporates, NGOs and socially conscious individuals.”
“With the digital disruption and with smartphones becoming the most common accessory, short films can be a great way to clear myths, spread peace and harmony through the medium of storytelling. I would urge corporate entities and NGOs to consider this medium to spread awareness. Since this is not a direct marketing functioning, it will bring goodwill to any brand which picks up a cause and dares to communicate and bring a positive change.”