Tying in with India’s 67th Republic Day, social welfare organisation Thozhan decided to hit 67 bus stops with a message — ‘Don’t Stand on the Footboard’.
The initiative, designed to interact with commuters and bus drivers during the peak ‘office hour’ rush between 7am and 9am, kicked off at the T Nagar Bus Terminus on Friday. And it began with an oath taken by the members of the group themselves.
The event titled ‘Step up 2 Stay up’ saw the participation of close to 500 volunteers from colleges like Ethiraj, Quaid-E-Millath, Chellamal and Annai Veilankanni visit the busy bus stops in Koyambedu, Guindy, Tambaram, Chromepet, Adyar and Meenambakkam.
To get their message across, V K Sabarivas, a member of the group, explained that rather than delivering a lecture, the idea was to interact with commuters as well as bus drivers and conductors in real time. To do this, tasks were split to ensure maximum reach within the brief time period when a bus stops.
“Two volunteers held our banner which had the goal of the activity, ‘accident-free nation’; two others stood near entrances of the bus and requested commuters to get off the footboard and one interacted with the driver,” explained Sabarivas.
The campaign saw more defaulters during the second half of the days as traffic started to build. And the youngsters who participated in this social service initiative did get their fair share of boos from college goers, a few volunteers shared with City Express.
“I guess it was a 50-50 sort of response, some listened, others didn’t,” Sabarivas admitted. “But it was heartening to see that the bus conductors and drivers were happy.”
Hoping to keep the campaign going on a monthly basis, another member of Thozhan said a meeting would be conducted to plan out their next step.