Why Risk Your Life?

Shubhangi Kundlik Bhoyar

Born on the 18th of May 1999 in Chandrapur, Maharashtra, Shubhangi Kundlik Bhoyar, is the daughter of truck driver, Mr. Kundlikrao Bapurao Bhoyar and Mrs. Maya Kundlik Bhoyar. She is a student of B.A second year at Gramgeeta Mahavidyalaya, Chimur, and wants to be a lawyer after the completion of her course.

I call my father ‘Baba’ and he is a truck driver. Not that he was keen on it, but due to strained economic circumstances of my family, he had to opt for driving as a profession. My family consists of my father, my mother, my elder brother and myself. There was an incident that happened in my father’s life, which jolted us badly.  And every time I hear this story I feel scared.

It was around seven o’clock in the morning and my father had just left the house. Everything was normal that day, the way it should have been. It was rainy season but there was no sign to indicate that it was going to rain. In fact, the climate was very pleasant. My father was scheduled to drive the truck from Chandrapur to Nagpur, and he had crossed Warora, when strong winds started blowing and a squall broke out. Earlier the Chandrapur-Warora-Nagpur road was not four-laned and only one or two vehicles could pass through the road at the same time. The road was not also very good, and was without proper street lighting.

My father had stopped the vehicle after the sudden storm, but he could not hold it up for too long while on duty. The truck was loaded with cement bags that were to be delivered on time. A distance of 150 km was still to be covered. Heavy rains were lashing along with strong winds. As soon as my father drove his truck into Khambada village in Warora Tehsil, suddenly an M-80 moped (two-wheeler) rammed into my father’s truck. Even though he had applied brakes to save the rider, it wasn’t of any use.

The moped rider died on the spot while the pillion rider sustained minor injuries. When the autopsy report of the rider came, it was revealed that he was heavily drunk and still he was driving the moped. That time there was no prohibition in Chandrapur district and liquor was easily available.

My father got frightened after the accident. He fled the spot after leaving the truck behind to save his life. I sometimes think what would have happened to my father had he been drunk that day. He has never done that while on duty, nor even in front of us. Would he have remained alive? Had my father died in the accident, who would have supported and looked after us? Provided us two square meals a day?

Bad roads, drink and drive, bootlegging and sale of liquor have all contributed to the growing number of road accidents. The man who died in that accident used to often drive after drinking. He also used to quarrel and argue after drinking. As if that wasn’t enough, even the man who was accompanying him used to drink heavily. The death of the moped rider must have plunged his family into deep grief.

Whenever I broach the subject of “accident” with my parents and ask what lesson one should learn, they tell me that the habit of drinking is worst, and narrate instances of how liquor has ruined many families. The next of kin of those killed in accidents get paid, I agree, but how long can the affected family survive on that compensation? If roads are good and policing is stringent, then there will be no accidents.  There will be no economic loss, physical loss or mental shock for anyone.

When I think about accidents, I feel like becoming a lawyer and ensure that the guilty get punished. I want to suggest measures to the government for the development of roads, and work towards the cause of road safety.

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