Safety through Spiritual Life-Skills

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Safety through Spiritual Life-Skills: Human Nature is Adaptable, Road Accidents are Preventable.

Mumbai, IndiaMumbai, India
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

This Road Safety initiative, aligned with the UN Global Plan for Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, engages with multiple stakeholders and is aimed at reducing the incidence of road accidents by educating and equipping people with the inner skills needed to practice road safe behaviour.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could practice ‘Traffic Control of the Mind’ at every red signal & other unanticipated stoppages, replenish our mental energies and be stable amidst traffic and chaos!
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

India has the disliked distinction of leading the world in road deaths. Broadly, there are multiple factors; however, in a precise frame of reference, contractors determine quality of roads; bureaucrats enforce rules; fleet operators manage transit schedules; owners govern maintenance; drivers control the vehicle & civilians choose to engage/not engage in safe practices. The ‘human’ element underpins almost all contributors to road collisions.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Spiritual solutions are offered to deal with stress, avoiding distractions, driving under influence of alcohol and other kinds of substance abuse, use of mobile phones while driving & to promote use of helmets & seat-belts, adherence to traffic rules & co-operation in post-accident scenario. The cumulative effect of change in human perspectives is believed to contribute to better road management systems, safer road users & safer roads. Spiritual education here, includes: • Understanding inner processes within the self • Managing the energy of one’s thoughts, emotions, attitude, motives • Discovering the power of human values & the joy of living them practically • Using practical meditation as a means to enhance mental stability
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Pleasant Shock Therapy: Drivers violating a ‘No Entry’ board at Thana Naka in Panvel were in for a pleasant shock on 3rd Jan 2012. A group of people clad in white stopped them and very sweetly offered tilak and a flower requesting them not to violate traffic signs in future. All travellers violating this sign received the same surprise. These volunteers were from the Brahma Kumaris on their special road safety mission. Delhi Traffic Police invited the Brahma Kumaris to hold sessions for nearly 5000 drivers of commercial vehicles, before the Commonwealth Games held in the city in year 2010, and further in year 2011. The objective was to sensitize them about their responsibilities while driving & to strengthen moral & behavioural ethics.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Official invitations started arriving from State Transport Establishments (MSRTC, APSRTC, DTC, etc) Traffic Police & Corporate Bodies to conduct regular training programs. Influential people have developed a positive attitude. Many among them participated in the n'nal conference-‘Speed, Safety, Spirituality’ (total 5000 delegates) in Sep’13 at our HQs at Abu Road, Rajasthan. The Road Safety Quiz was highly appreciated by college youth & served as breakthrough event in many esteemed colleges, schools & companies; eg. NSTL school(for children of defence scientists) & Navteq Maps–Nokia. A presentation was made at the prestigious western region meeting of National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC). W.H.O. invited representatives to attend a capacity-building workshop. Innovative events & strong govt. collaboration were prominent features of activities by Mauritius BK Center.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

1. 3D Driving Simulator with Neuro-biofeedback: Mauritius BK Center plans to introduce this scientific method to evaluate driving behaviour; to scrutinize skill and state of mind alike. 2. Psychological tests to assess Attitudinal Change: India team plans to create a questionnaire based on proven psychological methods to gauge the outcome of various training programmes. This will help validate the subtle behavioural changes in a measurable way. 3. Use of Social Media: It is envisaged that creative and strategic tools will be developed to enhance awareness and inspire action.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Activities have been planned and executed in accordance with the available resources and we envisage the support of like-minded organisations and government bodies for the spread and expansion of the activities.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We may travel different routes, but we are members of one global family. Safer Roads will be a collaborated achievement, but this vision can be translated into reality only by collective fulfillment of individual responsibility. Many people, institutions, organizations are geared towards improving the road safety scenario, however, the uniqueness of this project lies in its 'inside-out' approach, in its potential to demonstrate the practical application of values and meditation for a social cause. A variety of ready-to-use-resources in the road safety kit, add to its efficient functioning.
Team

Founding Story

The Transport & Travel Wing (RERF) has been very active in creating road safety awareness since 2008, and it was a providential coincidence when the UN declared 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety (DARS). The urgent need to address this modern malaise coupled with the support received from governmental & non-governmental organisations following the UN declaration of DARS, proved to be the inspiration to design a focused project dedicated to improving road safety. The pure intention that members of our world family should live with security and serenity is the guiding force behind the project. We envisage that this unique spiritual intervention will have a lasting and significant contribution to global safety.

Team

Consultant, Mentor & Guide based at New York; Project Head & Project Coordinator at Mumbai; Regional Project Lead at Mauritius and Sri Lanka each and a team of faculty members based in Mumbai. The team consists of dedicated personnel with experience in diverse fields like psychology, administration, education, social work, I.T., spirituality and meditation. Spiritual practitioners at the Brahma Kumaris offer their expertise as and when required.
About You
About You
First Name

BK

Last Name

Kavita

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, MM, Mumbai

Country where this project is creating social impact

, MM, Mumbai

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals.

Supplemental
Partnerships

We have offered our road safety services to B.E.S.T., Mumbai; M.S.R.T.C., Maharashtra; MERU Cabs, Mumbai; Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mahindra & Mahindra (F.E.S.) Kandivali, Mumbai; Navteq Ltd. (Nokia Group); Bayer & Bayer, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, and many more educational institutions and organisations. At most instances, this has been in the form of collaborated efforts, rather than a partnership.

How does your idea encourage citizens to participate in making roads safer?

Through a variety of activities: Extending Gratitude Cards to Drivers, Road Safety Pledge Drive, National Conferences, Public Forums, Quiz Contest - The Road Safety Challenge, Radio Talks, Creative Competitions for schools, colleges and universities, Public interest Messages in Cinema theatres, public buses, Use of posters, hoardings, stickers for awareness and so on.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Amongst the challenges, one is that the field level staff like drivers, conductors and traffic police are so tied up in moment to moment deadlines, that it is difficult for them to be relieved as a group for trainings. Admins seldom recognize the importance of focusing on the human element to facilitate long term positive changes in any system. Sensitization and presenting testimonials from the beneficiaries have been effective to overcome this.

Additional Information

Transport & Travel Wing of RERF was founded in 2001; Road Safety Project launched in 2012. Details: www.wheelsforpeace.org

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Active citizenship: Projects that work to promote active engagement with road safety from individual citizens, pedestrians, communities, and social networks, or that use education as a tool to raise awareness and promote engagement, Technology: Projects that leverage technology to promote road safety.

Would you like your project to be considered for the Bangalore People’s Choice Prize?

Yes

If yes, how is your project applicable to the Bangalore context?

Brahma Kumaris has a strong network of centers across India, including Bengaluru. The core team at Mumbai has resources, expertise and ample experience in conducting Train-the-Trainers (ToTs) training programmes in the specific context of Road Safety. Regional faculties have the added advantage to communicate in the local dialect and sustain the spread of activities in the local chapter. In fact, various training programmes for executives as also for drivers and traffic police have been conducted, albeit intermittently, in the garden city of India.

In January 2014, when the Transport Commissioner of the Government of Karnataka organized Road Safety Week activities, Bro. Ramakrishnan from Bangalore approached and took consent from the BK Road Safety Team at Mumbai to use the resources like quiz questionnaire, video animations, emailers on road safety specific themes, pictorial exhibits, etc for road safety programmes for children and youth. In the open space of the property known as Opera House (situated at the Junction of Brigade Road and Residency Road) various glowsigns and picture messages from the BK Road Safety Kit were displayed. Hindustan Coca-Cola beverages Pvt. Ltd, Bidadi Industrial Area, Bangalore also invited the Brahma Kumaris for a Road Safety talk.

Brahma Kumaris invite people to join us as we endeavour to strengthen a culture of Driving with Dignity, Working with Wisdom and Living with Love.

Comments

Latha Murthy's picture

The common denominator in road accidents in the human behaviour. By sensitizing the public of the value of life at individual level is a great way to ensure safe driving. Most rash driving seen on the roads today are by Taxi drivers, public transport drivers. Why not approach unions and companies/agencies employing these drivers to conduct workshops and educated them about road safety ?

Indrani Sharma's picture

Active citizenship and mindset shift through such efforts could be interesting. How do you plan to scale?

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