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Road accidents claim 5,000 human lives every year in Odisha

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


In a first of its kind state level programme in the country, the Odisha government has launched First Responder’s Training Programme – ‘Rakshak’; a road safety initiative to save precious human lives.

Around 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. The initiative was inaugurated yesterday by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“Road accidents are a serious cause of concern for all of us. This has a 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”, Patnaik said while speaking on the occasion.

“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.”, he said.

This capacity building programme is being organised by the 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, PadmanabhaBehera, Commerce & Transport Minister talked about the Solatium fund. “In ‘Hit & Run’ cases, accident victims are eligible for compensation through the 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.”

“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.”, Behera said.

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.

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

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