According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Road Transport & Highway, Law commission of India’s, report, following horrifying facts emerge on road safety in India:
- A fatal road accident occurs every minute, and 16 succumb to death every hour.
- On an average 1214 road accidents occur every day in India.
- Death of Two Wheeler Raiders is approximately 25% of total road mishap deaths.
- Most saddening aspect is approximately 20 children below 14 years of age die every day due to road
- It is as if a aircraft jet crashing every day killing 400 people.
With smart phones becoming omnipresent amongst Indian citizens, the passersby who used to fear to help road accident victims in earlier days to avoid possible trauma with police inquiry and court hearings have changed their roles of being mute spectators. Instead, they prefer to capture videos of the victims and upload in social media or forward it to electronic media houses. “Publicity rules and ruins us.” Moreover, very few of us are trained in providing first aid, and according to many surveys, the Death toll in Indian road accidents is mainly due to lack of awareness in imparting first aid and failure to relocate the victims to hospitals at the right time.
Kalam Fan Club is featuring a write up on a young social entrepreneur Mr. Piyush Tewari who has established an NGO by name www.savelifefoundation.org, and its USP is to train police officers in delivering first aid at accident spot effectively as it is the police who are the first to reach the accident site. The primary objective of Save Life Foundation is to minimize mishandling of accident victims at trauma site. Piyush, who could have had luxurious lifestyle by being an equity executive at a US based firm, brushed it aside to play the role of CEO of an organization that is contributing immensely in the area of road safety and trauma care. His contribution has not gone unrecognized as he has been awarded various fellowships like Ashoka fellowship and Echoing Green fellowship. Also awarded with Rolex award for entrepreneurship, most interestingly he is a panel member of Outstanding Speaker Bureau and is recognized across the country as a prominent commentator on road safety. So let us delve and explore the biography of this young achiever.
Personal Life & Early Career
Piyush Tewari was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh on May 19, 1980. His parents are Reena and Vinay Tewari. He had two siblings a sister and a brother. He did his schooling from Naval Public School in New Delhi and pursued graduation in Information Technology from Delhi University. Though in college campus Piyush exhibited signs of becoming a social activist by associating with a global-student organization called AIESEC- International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences, a non-profit organization, he did not immediately plunge to the activist role.
Piyush got an opportunity to work with the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) and contributed immensely to brand building initiatives of the nation. The experience at IBEF gave him a platform to build a career with an American private equity firm and donned the role of Director of the company for Indian operations in the year 2008. The same year happened to be a turning point in his career.
Turning Point in the form of life taking accident
In the year 2008, Piyush personally had to go through a tragic incident as his cousin was killed in a road accident at Kanpur. This incidence disturbed him a lot, and he decided to study the road accident and its effects on the life of common man in India. This incidence triggered Piyush to start an NGO (Save Life Foundation-SLF) to do his bit for the cause of road accident victims. He was supported by his mentor Mr. Krishen Mehta. The immediate objective of Save Life Foundation was to provide a ‘Bystander Care’— meaning the emergency care public and police can provide to accident victims to increase the chances of survival. Over the years Piyush has studied the nuances in first aid methods practiced in India. He has even developed innovative equipment to shift the victims carefully without further damaging their organs.
Piyush has identified various challenges faced by an organization like SLF has faced in delivering the services. According to him, the first and foremost culprit is Torture rendered on Good Samaritans by the court and by police for helping the victims. Though supreme court order in May 2015 to support the good Samaritans has somewhat helped in more people coming forward to help victims, it is still a troublesome issue. Further lack of National Ambulance code, No cohesive emergency care model, the absence of a universally accessible number, no bystander care, or proper grading of hospitals with no proper road safety law implementation is seen as key bottlenecks in ensuring the safety of accident victims.
Though Piyush, incepted SLF in 2008, It was in the year 2011 he plunged completely as CEO of the organization by resigning lucrative position with Calibrated Group. From then on his organization had faced a lot of hurdles like lack of funds and apathy of public officials. Resource mobilization is a key challenge for any NGO and SLF could convince international agencies to fund their projects and many players like Bloomberg Philanthropies, World Bank, WHO, Global Road Safety Partnership, Harvard Medical School, have come forward to support SLF.
Even HCL founder Ajay Choudhary is a trustee with SLF and opines that SLF can bring in new motor vehicle act in place if all the players and Govt. put their hands together to make Indian roads safe.
According to Piyush, The prime motto of the Foundation is to have a holistic approach to prevent road accidents and to create an effective post-accident service system. It aims at bringing together various players like community volunteers, technology, law makers, health care officials to build a strong network of first responders who can immediately reach the accident place.
The Team from Kalam Fan Club wishes personalities like Piyush Tewari multiply in number on our social scenario, and also road accidents dwindle in coming days.