You’re getting late for an important meeting. The traffic is not helping either, you see snail like progress and to top it all, it starts raining. With your blood pressure rising, you’re belting out the choicest of expletives under your breath, and murmuring – why do I have to deal with this traffic every single day! Why me? But there is someone who is trying to find a method to the madness come rain or scorching heat, while you whine in the comfort of your air conditioned car.
While we scorn even at the thought of rolling down our windows, someone stands there, in the middle of it, with at best a cloth mask around the nose. Let’s be real, isn’t that inviting lung disorders, allergies and serious illnesses. The traffic policemen are an overworked but underappreciated lot.
And yet no appreciation
Most traffic policemen do not have access or time for basic needs like drinking water, a place to have a meal in peace, and toilets. The ratio of traffic policemen to the number of vehicles is completely skewed and yet, every day, these men and women show up and try their very best to make our lives simpler. The least we can do is motivate these every day unsung heroes.
Traffic Police Care (TPC) is a Bengaluru based NGO that aims to create road safety awareness among the public and recognise and reward the best traffic policemen in the city. Recognition has always known to motivate people to do better. Motivated policemen equals better traffic management equals happy citizens. It’s a win-win, which is why Bangalore Traffic Police works in conjunction with TPC, to recognise and incentivise its best men.
TPC was founded by Santosh, a seasoned techie with over 16 years of work experience in the software industry. He pegs the solutions to the 21st century problems on technology and innovation.
Traffic Police Care’s workings
Understanding that an initiative like this can be marred by biases, the TPC team developed a voting system. The identity of voters remains confidential. Every month TPC selects five junctions managed by Bengaluru’s traffic police every month. Citizens commuting through these five junctions need to call on a number specified on these lanes. This call is an automated missed call, followed by an SMS sent to the caller with a code. This code is used to vote on www.ourtpc.com categorizing their experience at the traffic junction as ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’. Vote counting is transparent with the count being updated every day. Lanes where more ‘unhappy’ votes are received are looked at deeply, trying to identify the root cause analysis; corrective action is taken accordingly. At the end of the month, the winning junction and hence the policemen (each junction has two policemen who rotate shifts) with the most number of ‘happy’ feedbacks is rewarded. To encourage commuters to participate, commuters who share their feedback through voting are automatically a part of a contest where he/she is up for winning goodies.
What’s the reward?
TPC hosts a function where the winners are rewarded in the presence of the additional traffic police commissioner and other distinguished people. TPC’s reward includes Rs10,000 and a lunch at the Leela Palace for the winner and their family as a token of recognition of their service towards society. Santosh adds, “Substantial visibility through social media which motivates other traffic policemen to deliver their roles and responsibilities better.”
Santosh say, “We have planned projects that will leverage technology to make public life better and increase the effectiveness of the traffic police.” TPC plans on expanding their reach to more cities as well.
Santosh also brings to our notice another implication of the traffic problem. “Bengaluru has been home to the best minds, especially in technology. It is a place that attracts the best minds and the tech giants. Startups began flourishing here because the city was the place to be.” Bengaluru now is synonymous with traffic menace and makes the city lose its sheen.
Santosh signs off with a plea to the citizens of the capital city of the Indian startups, “I would request individuals and companies to understand the impact of the traffic congestion today and understand the impact. We must join hands and control the traffic demon before it’s too late”.
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