How would you react if I were to tell you that the Traffic Police is the real superhero? You would think I’m still in the weekend hangover, so let me explain.
I am aware of the reputation enjoyed by the Traffic Police folks, the moment you see them you think that they are approaching you or stopping you to just make some quick money out of you, it doesn’t matter whether you have all your vehicle documents or not, and you haven’t broken any law. This perception is more or less evident in almost every state of India. While this is the common perception, it is also a fact that the traffic of our country is being maintained by these Traffic Police who battle all kinds of problems, mental and physical without any frills.
The job isn’t easy and the growing menace of pollution makes their work conditions more dangerous. Not just big metros like Delhi and Mumbai, India’s 41 tier-II cities, including Tezpur, Rishikesh, Vapi, Angul, Sangrur and Gajraula, too are facing severe air and water pollution, reports Livemint.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities in terms of air pollution are in India. These hazardous work conditions are creating severe health issues for the Traffic Police. Do take a look at some alarming facts of health issues being faced by Traffic Police in the form of tweets:
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound made while you breathe. It is caused by narrowed airways and/or inflamma… pic.twitter.com/DEGQE9T329
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) April 9, 2016
Pollution often has long term effects on breathing functionality.
Research partner : Society for Environmental Awa… pic.twitter.com/CILSFObm6F
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) April 8, 2016
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) April 5, 2016
You may troll them, but you can not ignore the risks they are exposed to, in order to maintain sanity on the roads!… pic.twitter.com/VyQOzOwuxs
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) April 4, 2016
Do you still feel that the Traffic Police should not be our real superheroes? The sad part is that they don’t have the required gear to be safe. This is where responsible netizens decided to come forward to help one of the worst victims of air pollution – The Traffic Police.
The idea is to gift a mask to the traffic policemen via a tweet with #GiftAMask as a gesture of gratitude. The initiative is being supported by GAIL (India) Limited and HawaBadlo/ChangeTheAir, an independent people’s movement spearheaded by Social Cloud Ventures. “The movement aims at motivating people to commit towards air-friendly habits like switching to CNG/electric vehicles, carpooling, and use of public transport.”
To create a change in perception of the Traffic Police and bring forth the problems they face, Hawa Badlo created a video that interviewed random people who shared their opinion about the Traffic Police. Later on these people who had criticized the Traffic Police, refused to take up their job, when asked if they would be willing to police traffic instead of the traffic policemen. Their reasons for refusal throws light on the tough work life of Traffic Police. The video ends with a message that it’s time to respect their job and participate in the #GiftAMask campaign. On every tweet GAIL has decided to provide a mask to Traffic Policemen.
The 3 minute video has gained 163K views on YouTube and reached 2.1 million unique audience. 5434 on ground pledges have been taken so far.
On social media, the brand has been active in promoting the video and facts about the growing problems with pollution, informed LIQVD ASIA, the media agency of the campaign.
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) April 26, 2016
— HawaBadlo (@HawaBadlo) April 22, 2016
— sarthak shah (@sarthakshah5) April 30, 2016
The movement has gained a lot of support coming in from all corners of the nation including Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas in the present NDA government.
Hawa Badlo has been leading the movement to change air quality and make our country more breathable. GAIL India saw huge value in the radical ideas of Hawa Badlo team and decided to support the idea to become a national movement. The movement aims at motivating people to commit towards air-friendly habits like switching to CNG/electric vehicles, carpooling, and use of public transport.
The present campaign of Hawa Badlo, #GiftAMask addresses the core issue by bringing forward the state of the much criticized Traffic Police. Growing pollution is one of the strong reasons of their problems, so we need to respect their work and efforts.
Designed to meet the objective, the campaign starts with a thought-provoking video that does the job, creating awareness on Twitter with #GiftAMask and GAIL coming forward to provide masks on ground to the Traffic Police ties up the campaign neatly.
“Mask Is A Temporary Protection. Natural Gas Is The Solution To Kill Pollution,” says Hawa Badlo. True but at the same time #GiftAMask is a noble effort in building respect for the Traffic Policeman and sensitizing people towards the hazards of air pollution.