As an extension of Parivathana, we were asked to visit 10 houses in our locality to educate people about road safety. After the Parivarthana experience we were all thrilled about yet another opportunity to associate with the motor vehicle department. Our main aim was to educate families about the importance of road safety and also to collect data for the motor vehicle department on the number of vehicles per household. Another positive aspect of this exercise was that it was done at our home town, so it presented us with the unexpected opportunity to go home (which usually only happens once in a blue moon!).
On a fine Sunday morning, I set out with the goal of meeting people from10 different houses and getting information, like the number of members and vehicles in each household. My first house was one with two elderly people, both retired school principals. I told them the purpose of my visit straight away and since they were school teachers, they fired a barrage of questions at me, from how I got admission in SCMS to what my children will do when they grow up! But that was not the end of the story, for as soon I started talking about road safety, they interrupted with a diatribe on how careless people are on roads. They told me that it was youngsters like me who needed to be taught about road rulesand not the adults. Since I could hardly engage them in a lengthy debate, I agreed with whatever they said. It must be said, though, that they were kind enough to offer me soft drinks after making me sweat.
Now with this experience in mind, I reshaped my strategy and got into road safety lessons straight away, which worked very well in the other houses I visited. Everybody gave me a warm welcome and was ready to listen to my message; a few even assured me that they would follow the traffic rules stringently. Since many of them knew my family, it also became a socialising exercise. One common thing I found was that all the people I met were very impressed by the initiative (both this and Parivarthana) taken by the institute. I made it a point to explain Parivarthana also, since it made them understand the effort the motor vehicle department and SCMS are putting in for the betterment of society. At the end of the day, I felt contended that I had spent at least a day doing something for society and I am grateful to SCMS and the motor vehicle department for giving me such a wonderful opportunity.