Safety Comes First

It was a lazy Sunday morning. Mr. Karan Mehta a businessman by profession went along with his usual duties in his house which involved reading the newspaper and then going for a morning walk. His son Raj wakes up with groggy eyes and yawns like there’s no tomorrow. Being a 15 year old teenager, he did not have much on his agenda actually. He still wakes up knowing that his father would spill water over him if he continues to act lazy. 
Raj freshened up and just switched on the Television. Mr. Mehta read his newspaper. Everything seemed to be normal. Until all hell broke loose. Mr. Mehta began with his ranting about yet another road accident. Raj was worried as he thought anytime his father’s head would burst like a volcano. He asked “Dad, what’s wrong?”
“Another accident… Damn it!!” was his reply. “Why can’t these people just wear a helmet? Why not drive safely? Is being cool and macho everything? And at what cost does this come to? A life… These idiots don’t know anything!!”
Within a few minutes of hyperventilating, Mr. Mehta calmed down by taking deep breaths until he felt good. Raj was puzzled and asked a question which then laid out for an interesting discussion. He asked, “Dad, what did you mean by drive safely?”
Here is the dialogue sequence.
Mr. Mehta – Son, how many times have you seen me get angry after reading a newspaper?
Raj – Almost every day, Dad.
Mr. Mehta – Do you know the reason why?
Raj – No… why?
Mr. Mehta – It’s because of these road accidents.
Raj – Really? I thought you just rant about anything and everything you see in the newspaper. Thank god for sports news which is always in the last section. I have no tension of shouting and getting angry for such news.
Mr. Mehta – Haha. Son, there are a lot more things than sports in life. Something as following rules, driving safely, saving people etc. Let me tell you a bit about the road accidents in our country.
Did you know that every 4 minutes in India there is a road accident? Almost every hour 15-16 guys like you lose their life for a hasty choice made. Around 400 people die every day which means an entire flight crashes every damn day of the week. Just imagine Raj… We own around 1% of the vehicles in the world. Yet we account for 10% of road accidents in the world. Isn’t this pathetic?
Raj – Dad, I’m astonished. How come so much happens and I’m unaware of these things. No wonder, everyday dozens die in newspapers and all they get is an article in newspapers and bulletins. Dad, can you tell me how can we improve this?
Mr. Mehta – Sure son. Let me tell you some tips we people can follow for a hassle free driving experience.  Fasten your seatbelt.
Raj – What?
Mr. Mehta – That’s the first rule. Did you know that many accidents have been less dangerous due to the driver putting on his seat belt thereby protecting him.
Raj – Wow. That’s great.
Mr. Mehta- Yes. Also we need to maintain a usual driving speed. Rushing too soon always makes us take hasty decisions. Hasty decisions are not always something you should bank on.
There are signals. People in our country do not follow them We in fact hurl abuses at those who stop their cars when the lights reach yellow. That’s bad. Following instructions is what we must do. Reaching 2 minutes late might win you a lot of ranting from your professor, but trust me you have saved your life by following safety protocol. That’s important.
Also, we have head lights and tail lights in our vehicles to give indications to the nearby vehicles about our movement. This is something which can avoid a major disaster at times.
Son, you listening right?
Raj – Yes Dad I am. You’ve been to the Gulf region too right? Is the experience the same there?
Mr. Mehta – Ahh. Yes son. Thanks for reminding me. You know there they have a 3-4 lane system there. Vehicles with different speed limits only can take one route. You cannot switch from a specific track. If you do, you are fined. There are routes made even for cyclists.
Raj – Wow, Dad when will this system be implemented in India.
Mr. Mehta – Son, it already is!
Raj – Whaaaat?
Mr. Mehta – Yes son. No one follows that here. That’s my point. There are tons of instructions which can help in road safety but what’s the use if we don’t follow the main rule i.e. to follow the instructions. We just want to be quick. We live in the fast lane. All we want is quickness. We can’t be slow. It kills us.
Raj – That’s a shame dad. Your pointers are too good. But no one listens here right?
Mr. Mehta – Yes son. Basically all we have to do is drive properly following the rules, and in that process not get killed by another driver’s rash intentions.
But in our country, we have to make sure that all cars around us are not into racing mode. One wrong turn and the effect can be disastrous. I am tired of looking at bloody pictures everyday of kids your age who don’t even wear a helmet. If they would, they would be alive. But it’s not always what happens.
Raj – Yes Dad. It’s a shame that youth like me are losing their life just for a moment of shine. They try a stunt, they die. They try to take sharp turns, they injure themselves. It’s disheartening to see them fall. Dad, what would you suggest to improve this event from not happening?
Mr. Mehta – Son I can only suggest. The laws are very strict, but still people continue to break laws. My suggestion here would be to assign a dozen traffic cops with good facilities to be at high danger prone areas. If we catch them once, the news will spread and hopefully danger will be evaded. 
Also, police personnel should jail repeat offenders and use social media to show the effects of not following the rules. The social world has taken us all in like a tsunami. Just imagine how would you like if the entire world gets to know that you have been jailed just for skipping a traffic signal? Wouldn’t that be disgraceful to you and your family? You would be the butt of all jokes for a long time.
Thus avoid all this. Just do a little bit for safety. Who knows, your actions might save someone’s life too. 
Raj – Dad that was a great speech. You surely can make a good leader.
Mr. Mehta – Haha, stop it now. Remember, what I told you today must not be forgotten. Pass the word around. Tell them the facts. Let them tell others too. Hopefully times will change.
Raj – I hope they do dad. I hope they do.
This post is written for Indiblogger and Nissan
The Nissan safety driving forum has been an integral part of Nissan in their quest of keeping road safety as the most important factor in terms of driving. They want to bring around a huge change in the mindset of the masses. This program began in 2012 and has by now visited over 7 states in India. This year nearly 6-7 states will witness this activity. Hopefully the whole of India should be completed by 2016. This mission of Nissan has helped stop a lot of accidents simply by motivating drivers all across our country to wear seat belts and ensure safety.
Their main aim is to reduce the fatalities cause by traffic accidents.
Visit their website for more info. Link – Nissan

Bhopal A Prayer for Rain

Bhopal A Prayer For Rain (Movie Review)

Bhopal A Prayer For Rain is perhaps the most bone chilling movie ever.

Since the early years of independence till present, India’s growth more or less depended on the rains. Why so? It’s simple. No rains mean no crops mean no food means no productivity.

India is known as an agricultural nation and the farmers play a far more important role to make sure there is food for everyone.

So when there is abundance in terms of rain, there will be a good and fruitful season. If not, then it gets tough… really tough.

Plot of the Movie:

The movie “Bhopal A Prayer for Rain” begins with the narrator mentioning how the shortage of rainfall had affected India and its growth.

Many industries and sectors were hit by this shortage. Due to not meeting the sales requirements, many lost jobs. Our country had reached on the brink of recession and unemployment was at its peak.

The Entry of UCC in Bhopal:

People in the city of Bhopal too were affected by this shortcoming. Then arrived at Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). This was an institution developed in the early ’20s which dealt with chemicals.

When it arrived in Bhopal, the people saw it as a ray of hope, a bane which will help them claw out from the jaws of unemployment, poverty, etc.

UCC in the movie too came here due to multiple reasons which involved cheap labor, subsidies, less cost in operations, etc. An awful lot of people got jobs and were paid decent wages.

Residents of Bhopal thought times would change. They set up their camp right in the middle of slums and other dwellers.

The story then progresses with the lives of 2 villagers who work for Union Carbide i.e. “Dilip” portrayed by Mr.Rajpal Yadav and “Rakesh” by Mr.Om Prakash.

Both want to make it big in life and provide their family with a secure future. They are hard-working, willing to learn, and are not fussy at all.

The Twist in “Bhopal A Prayer for Rain” plot:

Rakesh complains of chest pain to his superior who rejects his plea about the chemicals being harmful by asking Rakesh to stop his smoking habits.

The story then brings in the most inspiring and interesting character i.e. “Motwani” portrayed by Mr.Kal Penn.

He has his own newspaper press. He has often heard the residents nearby the carbide plant complaining of stench in the air almost every night resulting in them waking up and sometimes even choking.

Thus he hunts for proof and news about carbide being harmful to the nearby residents and their life. So it’s natural that he is hated amongst his own crowd. They think he wants to kill their only source of livelihood.

The chemical MIC is something which if not handled carefully can wreak havoc at a large scale. The safety adviser “Mr. Roy” portrayed by Mr. Joy Sengupta time and time again keeps telling the workers about the safety they have to ensure for everyone’s life.

He often complains about a lot of things like not having on board, another supervisor as one person cannot run around the entire facility alone.

The Entry of the Villain:

Then comes “Warren Anderson” portrayed by Mr.Martin Sheen who is the chairman of Union Carbide Corporation. He wants to build a better corporation and also help the laborers succeed.

These characters have honored their role and have portrayed the exact nature of this tragic event.

The movie has exposed a lot of negligence on the part of both the parties i.e. the UCC and even to some point… the laborers.

A chain of events is responsible for what happened that fateful night. I won’t tell you what or who was responsible. I would want you guys to check this movie and then come out with your understanding.

There are many questions unanswered yet like,

Why was there no extra safety standards? And why such negligence? Does cost-cutting come at the price of many laborers? Were there faulty/cheap machines in the factory? Is this just one person’s mistake or a collective effort?

But there is just one answer to all of these questions.

People died.

Some worked at the factory. A part of them was celebrating an event. A few of the rest were watching TV. These innocent people did not deserve death as such.

They had no fault but paid the price eventually. No one can imagine what those people living nearby went through.

Even today there are people still affected by the chemical and are either diagnosed with diseases or are paralyzed or have respiratory issues.

No compensation can make it right for them.

I am highly satisfied with the work of the Director “Mr.Ravi Kumar”. He has done his due diligence well. I also thank Indiblogger for giving me this opportunity to watch and relive this event.

This movie is an experience that signifies the importance of safety and life. It is indeed a must-watch movie. Here’s the trailer.

The entire cast and synopsis on IMDB: Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain Cast

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