Thanks to traffic wardens many junctions specially in the eastern and western parts of the city have become more manageable. This dedicated group of volunteers have come to play a prominent role in the traffic management of the city as they have been responsible for regulating the chaotic traffic to some degree.
Laxman, a 64-year-old man is one of the oldest traffic warden that Bangalore has today. He joined the organisation in 1989 and was the only face of traffic volunteer in east Bangalore during that time. He said, “The initial challenge was the abuses from the public. Today, I am associated with the headquarters after working across many places in Bangalore , from Malleswaram to Adugodi.”
Presently, Bangalore has 527 traffic wardens who hail from different walks of life. The Additional Commissioner of traffic police M A Saleem says, “Although I feel the number is enough to manage the traffic, we would like to invite more people to come forward and join hands in this public service. However, not many are in favour of putting a uniform to mann the traffic.” City Express takes a look.
Traffic warden organisation consists of people who voluntarily join the traffic personnel brigade with the sole interest to serve the public.
M A Saleem says, “Apart from the regulation of traffic, another key duty of the traffic wardens is to train the Students Association of Road Safety (SARS) on road safety issues. They are responsible for creating awareness on road safety among school students. They visit various schools and educate them about the measures to be taken to avoid road accidents.”
M T Naik, once a DCP in the traffic department, and now the Chief Traffic Warden, is responsible for recruitment and training of the traffic wardens.
He says, “The main focus of the traffic warden organisation is to spread awareness on road safety. Since most of the people in the organisation are well read, we utilise their knowledge and conduct a lot of programmes in schools and also, explain to the students about road sense through presentations. In fact, many wardens in their own locality have conducted awareness programmes on road safety and accidents. The wardens usually take up the work only on weekends as most of them are working elsewhere.”
The Bangalore City Police Traffic Warden that came into existence in 1985 today includes volunteers from different fields including doctors, engineers, advocates, teachers, bank employees, government employees, business people, industrialists, IT and BT professionals.
Sathyapal, who is in charge of the education wing and speaker of the Traffic Warden Organisation has been involved in this voluntary service for 17 years now. He said, “I coordinate with the jurisdiction officers as and when we approach schools to conduct road safety awareness programmes. We fix up a day and I along with one or two traffic wardens visit the concerned school and display power point presentations, followed by an interaction with the students.”
He adds, “When I joined the organisation in 1995, there was no BTRAC, not many signals and we had a very tough time. So, I believe awareness is the only tool available with us.”
There are many women who have been actively participating in the drive for a long time now and Shyamala K S who is the principal of a school in Basavanagudi is one such example. She was awarded the best traffic warden recently. She works with the enforcement department of traffic in Gandhi Bazaar.
She says, “I joined the organisation five years back. I developed this interest when I saw traffic wardens at Lalbagh West Gate and there was a vacancy during that time and I applied for it. Today, I am happy as well as proud of myself that I have prevented many accidents.”
Recruitment: Interested candidates can apply by filling up an application form that is available with the Bangalore Traffic Police.
Saleem said, “The minimum qualification is PUC pass and 18 years and above. Within 3-4 months of application, they will be called for an interview and recruitment will be done.”
The duties are limited to two hours per week. They will also take part during special duties like cricket match, air show, religious functions with traffic police. Besides, every first Sunday of the month is celebrated as the parade day for the traffic wardens. M T Naik informed City Express, “We have recruited a fresh lot of traffic wardens last month. The recruitment will open again by the end of this year. Interested candidates are welcome to apply.”
Uniforms: Each individual has to pay more than Rs 4,000 for the uniforms from their own pockets.
M T Naik says, “If the people are from well to do background, we do not provide the expenses of the uniforms. However, there are many teachers who are interested to join as a volunteer but cannot afford the extra expenses, for such people, we will spend from the government fund.”
For more information contact:
M T Naik (former DCP Traffi c): 23239618 or 9448101454 Laxman - Dy Chief Traffi c warden (Adugodi) : 9902065801 M Nambiar - Dy Chief Traffi c warden (East) : 9343751435 K H Srinivas - Dy Chief Traffi c warden (Central): 9448550505 Gopalkrishna Swamy - Dy Chief Traffi c warden (West) : 9448453200 Raghu - Dy Chief Traffi c warden (South) : 9844053688