Students helm drive on helmet awareness
Six helmetless youths riding their motorcycles at high speed died when their vehicles rammed into a wall at Jhitkipota near Krishnagar on the evening of December 20. The loss of the six young lives had left the people of the locality and nearby Bhatjungla shocked.
A day later, students of the local Bhatjungla Kalipur High School had vowed in their morning assembly to visit every home in the locality to plead with family heads, particularly mothers, not to allow their dear ones to ride motorcycles without helmets. Sources said the Krishnagar district police had extended their support to the students under the Bengal government’s “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign.
Students of Bhatjungla Kalipur High School began their sensitisation campaign on Monday with a visit to more than a few hundred houses in the vicinity.
They spoke to the people, particularly wives and mothers of two-wheeler riders, about “the indispensable utility of the helmet” while riding motorcycles.
The school authorities said on Monday that they had committed to provide helmets that could be distributed among students and motorcyclists during the awareness drive.
“It is a student-led initiative for the people of the locality as well as for others at large. The death of the six young motorcyclists had shocked everyone. Therefore, the students had decided to undertake a drive to inform people about the importance of helmets,” said headmaster Sajit Sarkar.
“They also intend to make elder family members aware of not allowing their dear ones to ride without helmets,” he added.
On the evening of December 20, six youths riding two motorcycles had died while racing at high speed. Eyewitnesses had said that the youths had slammed into a wall on the Ranaghat-Krishnagar Bypass in the Jhitkipota area. Sources had said the accident occurred because the handles of the two bikes had got entangled with each other as the bikes had come very close to each other.
Sujan Sarkar, 23, Joydeb Biswas, 22, Sajal Biswas, 18, and Samir Biswas, 22, had died on the spot. Two of their friends succumbed later at the hospital. They were all residents of the adjacent Dogachi village.
Headmaster Sarkar said on Monday: “We had planned an awareness drive under the government’s safe-drive programme. But, when the students proposed to make it a direct interaction to plead family members, we agreed and changed plans.”
The students’ endeavour began from the site of the accident in Jhitkipota on Monday.
Sushmita Mandak, a Class XI student, said: “We pleaded elders, the mothers in particular, not to give the keys of the motorcycle unless the rider has put on the helmet.”
The students also demonstrated the utility of the helmet, explaining the fatal nature of head injuries through skits.
“We faked accidents and showed how the head suffers injuries when riders fall from motorbikes driven at high speed. It also said how helmets can save the head from injury and death,” said Sohail Seikh, another student.
Nazrul Seikh, a villager, said: “It is a great initiative by the students. They showed us how a helmet can protect the head and save a person’s life.”
An officer of Krishnagar police said: “If more students come up with such initiatives, the awareness for helmet-wearing can increase and precious lives could be saved.”
School authorities said the students would continue the drive throughout the academic year.