They are ‘fly-by-night’ people not serious in traffic control, says traffic commissioner; The cops had rather not have us, says NGOs
The Traffic Police of Hyderabad have had many associations with various NGOs striving for a better traffic culture in the City. Film stars and other celebrities too have backed the cause by working with the traffic police. Nevertheless, the role of voluntary organisations in helping the traffic police in Hyderabad remains negligible as compared to other cities.
It is not a rare sight to spot civilians handling and managing traffic during times of absolute chaos. While this may seem promising in taming the uncouth traffic, the zeal that drives these people fizzles out fast, say Traffic managers.
CV Anand, commissioner of traffic police, says, “We have always encouraged people to be involved with the traffic police. In fact, we are very open to any foundation or civil society organisation that seeks to work with us in traffic management.”
But the problem, says he, is that the cause is not sustainable. “Most of the NGOs that have approached us do it for the publicity. Their drive fizzles out within a week and then there is no response from them. I call them “fly-by-night” NGO’s,” he says.
Fashionable as the cause may seem, there are currently only a handful of NGOs that continue to work. Most notable among them are the Vaada Foundation and the Right to Walk foundation. Film director SS Rajamouli too made headlines by guiding and managing traffic on the New Year’s Eve along with the traffic police. While their numbers might be few, the issues that need to be tackled are too high.
“Though they might have a burning desire to strive for such causes, people in these NGOs feel strained. As most of them are from IT company backgrounds, their work schedules are not exactly activist-friendly and they cannot work on a sustainable basis,” says CV Anand.
Activists feel that more manpower, especially human resources, are needed to bolster the traffic police’s efforts.
Gayatri Krishna, an activist says, “Consistent effort in large numbers will help calm the traffic situation. So unless we have really dedicated people ready to go to colleges and work from the roots, there cannot be any change in the current situation.”
But there are whispers that the traffic cops on duty do not want civilians around. Reason? “Obvious,” says a voluntary traffic warden who quit the service, “they can’t indulge in bribery.”
Vaada Foundation had joined hands with the traffic police in their campaign against drunk driving. They had also provided insurance for home guards engaged in traffic management.
Right to Walk foundation has been active in raising awareness over the importance of footpaths and the pedestrian culture in Hyderabad. The society has been striving for pedestrian rights and pedestrian safety.
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