Head Constable Sandeep Shahi wasn’t always very vocal about issues related road safety. But when his wife got injured in a road accident four years ago, he realised the importance of taking up the cause. And since then, he has been offering free helmets to violators in Delhi during several road safety initiatives.
“In Delhi, youngsters don’t wear proper helmets (ISI marked) while riding two-wheelers. My aim is to prevent head injuries,” he says. The 36-year-old policeman recently became a sensation on social media after he uploaded a rap video that went viral. Inspired by Ranveer Singh-starrer Bollywood blockbuster Gully Boy on rap music, Shahi’s ‘Tera Time Ayega’ asks people to follow traffic rules for their own safety.
“I wanted to address the youth in the language they understand. That’s why I decided to compose a rap song so that it resonates with them”, he says.
Shahi,who joined Delhi Police in the year 2003, was transferred to the traffic department four months ago. But he has always been a part of road safety initiatives and programmes which are routinely conducted by the department. However, for helmets, he has been spending from his own pocket. He says he doesn’t celebrate birthdays or anniversaries.”I save the money meant for these occasions to buy helmets,” he maintains.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, road accidents (78,500 cases) accounted for 97.3% of total traffic accidents in 53 mega
cities during 2015. Chennai accounted for 9.3% (7,328 out of 78,500 cases) of total road accidents reported in 53 mega cities followed by Delhi City (9.1%) (7,148 cases) and Bengaluru (6.4%) (5,001 cases). However, the large number of fatal road accidents were reported in Delhi City (1,316 deaths).
“The death figures in the city are alarming. Basically, it is the youngsters who are prone to accidents because they disregard traffic laws, refuse to wear helmets and indulge in over-speeding. It is extremely important for us to reach out to them effectively,” he says.
Shahi is currently posted at Traffic Training Park in Punjabi Bagh. He conducts road safety programmes and two-wheeler riding classes to citizens. Several school children also take part in such programmes as a part of their summer workshops. “Elders usually ignore rules. We target kids so that they inculcate a sense of discipline in them and continue to follow traffic rules when they grow up,” he says.
Originally from Deopura in Bihar, Shahi lives with his wife and two kids in Pitampura in north west Delhi. He proudly claims his family is supportive of all his initiatives to ensure road safety. “If my efforts help save even one life, that will be the happiest day of my life,” he says.