Octogenarian gets into the act for safe pavements

Octogenarian gets into the act for safe pavements

Octogenarian gets into the act for safe pavements

In an effort to teach citizens to avoid parking on footpaths and promote pedestrian safety, 80-year-old Arkalgud Padmanabha has started a unique campaign. He sticks pamphlets with a message card on violating bikes.

The senior citizen has got over 2,000 cards printed with the message: ‘Fellow Indians, greetings. Perhaps you are not aware of the problems faced by many people because of the way you have parked your vehicle. If you could kindly change this habit it will be your valuable contribution to change India. Please give it a thought’.

Padmanabha, founder and president, Yelahanka New Town Citizens Forum, carries these pamphlets with him everywhere and pastes them on bikes parked on the footpath. He also leaves his contact number with the message card.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Padmanabha said that the idea came to him after he once came across a blind person trying to make his way through a small stretch on a footpath, where bikes were parked haphazardly. “Two vehicles were parked across the footpath and I had to help this person step down on to the road from the pavement for a certain distance because there was no space to walk on the footpath. It is a huge risk to get off the pavement and walk on the road, because this road is a very busy one with many buses plying frequently,” he recalled.

That day, Padmanabha borrowed two plain sheets from the bank and wrote a message to the vehicle owners.

“My first message was an aggressive one. Later, I realised that people would only retaliate. I just wanted to convey to them that they had to mend their ways and that a lot of inconvenience was caused by their behaviour.”

Padmanabha wishes that this initiative will create a ripple effect. “I have not started this expecting a radical change. It is a small step towards being disciplined. I have also distributed a few of these cards to my friends,” he said.

Responses to this campaign have been both positive and negative. While one person near J P Nagar brushed it aside, a few others called him and thanked him for spreading the message, he claimed.
DH News Service