Joint Managing Director of PVR limited, Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, welcomed the guests and shared the significance of the event and importance of road safety in the country. Mr. Bijli who is also a Trustee - PVR Nest said: “We are all witness to our country’s development that is taking place at the expense of increasing urbanization putting severe pressure on resources. As stakeholders in the country’s progress, all business houses like us have now a bigger task in hand – the issue of urban sustainability. Here in PVR, we consider ourselves fortunate enough to address this issue through access to a mass medium reaching out to over 28 million people visiting our cinemas spread in 13 states & 25 cities.”
PVR Nest has been able to develop a sustainable communication model through ‘CineArt’ to create mass scale awareness among school children on understanding and handling critical sustainability issues facing us today, be it Environment and Nature, Health or Road Safety. Throughout the last 4 years of its implementation, CineArt has been able to reach out to over 250 schools (NGO/ Community/ Public and Private) and 1, 00,000 children and has trained over 1500 children on film making.
In a short film on the workshops done by PVR Nest in different schools, which were screened after that had made a great impact on everybody's mind and heart after seeing how much these small kids are worried and putting their efforts in creating awareness on road safety through their creative artistic talents. Through drawings, crafts and songs, these kids were trying to influence us and are telling us about the importance of following road safety rules and considering our life most precious.
Also supported by the Delhi Government, the launch witnessed unveiling of a new road safety leadership module by Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Govt. of NCT of Delhi and The Guest of Honour and Ambassador of France to India, Francois Richier.
Chief Minister also addressed the audience on the importance of children taking a leadership role in making Delhi a World class city. "In Delhi we have almost 29 mediums of transport to commute. From rikshaw to metro or from cycle to truck all are here, then it becomes more important than to take more safety measures to make capital's road more safer," she said.
It is said that art, culture, music and visuals have more impact on people's mind. Then there was a fine theatre performance by Up-Stage Theatre Group. Through a small and humorous skit they conveyed a message of improving oneself on roads before blaming others.
Richier also addressed audience and talked about how France had been facing a huge number of deaths happened due to the road accidents, but as per him the figures have come down to less than the half of previous figures through consistent efforts by the French government. "Behaviour on road reflects our character," said Richier.
The Ambassador of ‘CineArt Road Safety Campaign’ Padma Bhushan and renowned classical dancer and social activist, Dr. Mallika Sarabha addressed the gathering by requesting them to give up pre-conceived thoughts, 'I know all these things; this will not happen to me or I do not belong to that case'.
The program, throughout its 8-month-long journey, will sensitize 1, 00,000 children from 100 Delhi schools through various path breaking and creative mediums like puppetry, film making, clay odysseys, and art workshops etc.
Road accidents reach epidemic proportions and every year tens of thousands are injured and killed. The impact in terms of emotional and financial stress is enormous on friends, families and community in general. Through clear and sustainable communication on the issue, the program will inculcate 'responsible road behaviour’ and enable them to become role models, lead action and bring out a positive change in the society. Children will also make their original short films and publication on the issue after over 100 workshops with eminent filmmakers.
CineArt ‘Steer to Safety’ aims to engage lakhs of youth from many universities and colleges, families and friends through many on-ground activities at PVR Cinemas, India Habitat Centre etc. This program will also reach out to thousands of people through its mass on-line social channels like Facebook and blogs.
The French embassy through its cultural service 'Institut Français en Inde' and several enterprises like Michelin India Tyres Pvt. Ltd., Renault India Pvt. Ltd, Tata Motors, Total Oil India and Bajaj Auto have come together for the first time for this mass scale alternate education campaign to spread awareness on road safety.
Richier added: "The French Embassy supports PVR Nest in its initiative to sensitise children on road safety. We cannot let road hazards remain among leading causes of loss of lives worldwide. Let’s share our practices and experience - inculcating road safety rules in children means securing the future."