Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari requested ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to don the role of the “brand ambassador for road safety”. The minister also said that he’ll act against makers of inferior quality two-wheeler helmets. It may be noted that the cricketer urged Gadkari to take strict action against manufacturers of inferior-quality helmets.
“As you had indicated in your letter, it is an underlying fact that the road safety is the matter of serious concern for all of us. Almost one and a half lakh people lose their lives every year in road accidents. despite various road safety improvement programmes are in place, the road traffic injuries leading to deaths, disabilities and subsequent hospitalization causing severe socio-economic costs, still remain a cause of grave concern in our country,” Gadkari said in his letter addressed to Tendulkar. He also said that the cricketer’s presence in the advocacy of road safety should go a long way in creating enough social awareness.
Reports show that as many as 85% of helmets that are sold in India are either non-ISI marked or of a really low quality. Rajeev Kapur from ISI Helmet Manufacturers association said that as many as 275 manufacturers have ISI certification and they can produce at least 2.75 lakh helmets day. “Roughly, the daily sale of helmets in a country is about 2.5 to 2.7 lakh. So, we have the license to manufacture quality helmet, but people are buying spurious products even as they are paying the full amount of an ISI-marked helmet,” Kapur said.
Earlier, the cricket star uploaded a video on his Facebook page, which showed Tendulkar asking a young couple astride a two-wheeler to make it a habit to wear a helmet. The video shows Sachin stepping out of his car and telling the woman,“wear a helmet at the back also. Why should the only rider be wearing a helmet? you should also be wearing the helmet. You can get injured.” In a tweet, the cricketer said,“Rider or pillion, both lives matter equally. Please, please make wearing helmets a habit. Just my opinion #HelmetDaalo#RoadSafety”.