He is quiet, a touch reticent, and uses economy in expressions. Beneath the glasses rest observant eyes that don’t give away much but compliment the sense of equanimity the face emits.
He’s anything like the wham-bam and restless brand of the sport that the T20’s are- and have- been.
And yet, there’s a catch; a very important one.
Often, it takes calm navigator to crisscross the volatile seas.
Much like how a sense of alertness is a must amid the chaos and bustle we find on our Indian roads.
For anything but focus and a state of perpetual alertness whilst driving would lead to consequences that can be damaging.
In that sense, it’s no irony, rather a perfect match that Shri Rahul Mehta is brand ambassador of the now known Road Safety World Series.
To a country that sees no day- truth be told- where there aren’t casualties on the roads, that someone (and a concerted team) gave us a Cricket series whose underlying message is Road Safety is intriguing.
It’s that sort of situation where one’s vision and mantra is akin to seeing the man they call ”The Wall” save the day for an India stuck in a Test match.
Of course, it’s brilliant to note that Mr. Mehta, much like his namesake Rahul (Dravid) was during a critical juncture in a Test match is amid a cricket series that’s critical in a sense for India.
But, how’s that?
Well, Shakira may have said that hips don’t lie. But do you know what, ditto for the numbers! And where the stats pertaining to casualties thanks to road accidents are concerned, then it’s not a lie that the results are worrying, damaging even (at both national and International level).
Here’s a simple statement of fact: in 2021 alone, there were no fewer than 4,03,116 road accidents (on the whole) in India. Of these, as many as 1.73 lakh lost their lives.
You read that right.
Now just imagine, of the countless lives lost, whether in Urban or Rural India; whether whilst receiving a call or on account of not wearing a helmet, the accidents brought an end to someone who could’ve been the sole bread earner of a household, someone who was peaking in his career, someone who may have been her parents only daughter and someone who despite breaking no road rules, lost her or his life on account of another’s carelessness and utter ignorance.
What is even happening? What seems to have gone wrong? Observations, there are many much like the solutions; but only a few dare to step forward to spread a message, which if done correctly and cautiously, can impact an entire country.
Caught At Point were fortunate to interact with Shri Rahul Mehta, a pioneering spirit behind cricket obsessed India’s newfound love: Road Safety World Series!
After a successful completion of the 2022 edition, Shri Rahul Mehta, who’s been running pillar to post from Kanpur to Indore, Dehradun to Raipur, in getting the message behind the Road Safety World Series across, was graceful enough in explaining us as to how this revolutionary series came about and what’s in store.
Can you kindly tell us about the conceptualisation of Road Safety World Series? How did it start?
In the present scenario, three things, if you were to think of it from an Indian standpoint are increasing. These being- countless vehicles, the distance of roads and economic prosperity.
But what’s not- though needs to- is the awareness regarding Road Safety.
If Road Safety is not even being considered as a ‘must’ in our beloved motherland, then surely, something’s not right and hence, must be done (to make it right).
It is precisely here, in the massive vacuum between the lack of proper messaging and the audience’s response to it that the concept of Road Safety World Series came about.
That’s how Road Safety World Series was birthed as an idea.
Can you elaborate a bit more?
We started this journey with a clear and concise message, which we thought was a must for our nation: “HornNotokpls!”
This began as a no honking campaign in Mumbai, which was then simply augmented in Maharashtra. But as you know with a spark, it eventually leads to fire.
And that’s the real motto of the Road Safety World Series; that the message about Road Safety must reach a pan-India level.
And here we are; through the successful completion of the recent 2022 Road Safety World Series, the vital message is across Pan India.
Yes, that cricket, a semi-religion, or should one say of religious essence almost in the country is at the carrier of this message is even more beautiful. And not to forget, heartening!
Well, it’s not that hard to understand why!
After all, “Cricket is the most important thread in India to convey any valuable message. Through this sport that binds us all, regardless of caste, colour, culture or sect, we are spreading message of road safety.
The 2022 edition’s success was amplified by the fact that one of the world’s fastest growing sport was organized in several cities of the (beating heart of) the Indian subcontinent: Kanpur, Indore, Dehradun and, Raipur.”
Very well. So how did the message reach the youth and should one say, the last mile of the town?
Millions of viewers watched the live action physically (in stadia across India) and even online. It’s not just cricket, but in effect, the message that was consumed.
Being a RoadSafety series brand ambassador, I must say that this season was extremely successful as far as messaging is concerned. This is a one-of-its-kind concept, where both- the message (i.e., Road Safety) as well as the messenger (cricket, which is at the heart of the Road Safety World Series) are both important.
Having said that, it ought to be noted that Road Safety message is primary for us.
Note– Caught At Point wishes Rahul Mehta, ambassador of the Road Safety World Series and his entire team the very best and wishes that such need-of-the-hour campaigns achieve groundbreaking success in the times to come.