Once upon a time in India, pedestrians were the King (or for more obvious reasons walking was most effective and cheapest way to reach smaller destination).
Thanks (but no thanks) to increment in per capita over the recent years the most of the commoners of our great nation now posses two-wheelers or infact four-wheelers , but what they don’t posses is the respect for pedestrians.
As a matter of fact, on Oct 01, 2018 as per the Govt of India report over 20,000 people was sadly killed while walking on streets, That’s quite shameful, Right?
Pedestrians are most vulnerable due to poor Infrastructure, no designated pathways and irrational driving ways vehicle owners. Well to be harsh and true even if you see footpaths on sideways most of them are in shabby conditions, either they are occupied by some shopkeepers/cart vendors or you can see two-wheelers running on them.
Hardly on any traffic light the vehicle stops before Zebra crossings.
I have lived and visited many European/South East Asian countries and the way they give respect to pedestrians and cyclist is commendable. During my initial days of stay in France I was surprised to notice that the car driver would stop their car 5-10m when someone is crossing the street and wait till the person reaches the other end, such is the respect they give which I never felt or observed here.
Everyday while driving in the city, I feel sad when I see that the pedestrians cannot walk/cross the street safely now.
I read lately that Government is trying to put Infra and rules in place to minimize such accidents but the onus really lies with us.
I hope we all should understand the footpath/walkways belongs to pedestrians and the vehicle owners need to stop behaving that they are the Kings of the road. Its not only about infra being in place, its about cultural mindset which we need to adapt to give Pedestrians equal respect.
© Sajal Gupta – 23.12.2018
Reference of Govt report – TOI Article