Naveen Inaugurates ‘Rakshak’ To Train 30,000 First Responders To Road Accidents

Bhubaneswar: With road accident related deaths in Odisha jumping by 21% in six years, the state government has launched an initiative ‘Rakshak’ which would train 30,000 people who would serve as ‘first responders’.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday inaugurated the First Responder’s Training Programme ‘Rakshak’ at the Lok Seva Bhavan, here. The road safety initiative to save precious lives is first of its kind state-level programme in the country.

Under ‘Rakshak’ programme, 30,000 volunteers staying or working at the eateries and different business establishments located near accident prone spots will be trained as First Responders to road accidents.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said, “Road accidents are a serious cause of concern for all of us. This has serious impact on families and our economy. In a road accident situation, the first hour after the incident is the most critical for saving lives.”

“All of us are good Samaritans. Nothing is more pious than saving human lives. There is also a reward of Rs 2000 for the people who help road accident victims,” he added.

This capacity building programme is organised by Commerce and Transport department in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha branch.

Commerce and Transport minister Padmanabha Behera said, “In ‘Hit & Run’ cases, accident victims are eligible for compensation through Solatium Fund. As part of the facility, the legal heir of a deceased is entitled to get Rs 2 lakh compensation and a critically injured person is entitled to Rs 50,000.”

In the first phase of the programme, 300 master trainers will be trained in Training of Trainers (TOTs) by experts from Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC). Master trainers include volunteers from Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State Branch and NGOs across the state. The TOTs will be conducted at 10 places – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Koraput, Phulbani, Sundergarh, Keonjhar and Bhawanipatna.

In the second phase after the TOT, the 300 master trainers will go to accident prone areas in all the districts and train and empower the local people to render help to the victims of road accidents. These 30,000 First Responders will be equipped to administer first aid and pre-hospital trauma care to accident victims within the golden hour. The First Responders will also educate and inform people about road safety measures and the Good Samaritan law.

It may be noted that road accident related deaths in the state increased by 21% from 3,931 deaths in 2014 to 4,738 in 2020. Taking a serious note of the issues, the Supreme Court committee on road safety had directed the state government to bring it down by 50%.

The Centre had also advised the state to follow Tamil Nadu model of road safety which had brought down the accident fatalities by 54% in five years.

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