They train dogs – we need to train our drivers

August 14th, 2014

The Hindu (Indian English Daily) and The Prothom Alo (Bangladeshi Bengali Daily) published a report on 11 August, 2014, saying that Delhi City authority is going to take an initiative to train Delhi dogs, stray dogs basically, as security strength.

SAM_9106Stray dogs in Delhi create many problems for city dwellers; sometimes they even go mad and hurt people. So, with good intention,the authorities decided to turn the burden into asset. These dogs, they think will provide security to city dwellers when they are trained. A good initiative indeed.

In South Asian countries – there may be other countries as well – one can see stray dogs everywhere. They are seen from the village market to in front of a flashy shopping mall, from a rural road to a highway, from the beach to hill, where not?

I can remember how the Rajshahi City Corporation (north-western district of Bangladesh) used to manage stray dogs. Killing was the only means then. They used to beat dogs to death, especially the mad dogs. The action was carried out during the breeding time (August-September-October) of dogs. It was so frightening for me and my siblings. We used to run away when we see the dog-killer-group on the street. This was the accepted method of  keeping the stray dog number in control, then. Things may have changed now, I don’t know.

With this bitter memory, when I read the news of dog-training in Delhi, I felt good. In fact, a thinking crossed my mind to send a “thank you letter” to Delhi authority. Though I haven’t sent a letter yet, I wish this initiative every success.

Dogs? No. We need to train drivers …

overturned lorry“Training dogs to provide security for city dwellers” is even beyond our dream, I believe in Bangladesh. This must be taken as an insane idea. There are so many issues coming every day to deal with, for our government.

Recently, along with many regular problems, our nation has been facing a challenge on how to control road and river accidents, although road accidents are a kind of regular incident of our life. Every day there is news of accidents in newspapers.

But accidents invariably increase during two Eids (Eid-Ul-Ftr & Eid-Ul-Ajha). Eid (Muslim Festival) is the time when movement of mass people increases – almost all working people, student, expatriates,  go to their ancestral home to enjoy the Eid holidays; everywhere, there is rush. This year was no exception. Last month, we observed Eid-Ul-Fitre, on 29 July; enjoyed 3-days government declared holiday – 28, 29 and 30 of July.  Keeping the holidays in the middle, if I take some days of before-after Eid, I can see the number of road accident and death tolls are alarmingly high. According to the newspaper reports, during  25 to 28 July and 1 to 5 August, a total of 202 people died and 717 people injured by road accident only; the number will be more if I add the river accidents (boat capsize). This is my personal calculation from 3 national newspapers: Daily Prothom Alo (Bengali), Daily Kaler Kntha (Bengali) and Daily New Age (English).

Road accidents not take only the lives of people and leave some people disabled. There are multiple negative effects on family, society and nation. If we look at this from family level, we can understand the trauma. When road accident takes poor people’s lives or leave poor people disable, disaster comes down to the victim-family; mentally and financially.

In most of the cases, accident happens because of the driver’s fault, though the entire system of our road management is faulty. But how to overcome this problem? Who should take responsibility? Who should monitor? I believe, there are plenty of answers jumped into your mind already. There must be many thought of action prevails in the government system, even some actions must have taken already. But the very first initiative, I think, should be to provide training to the drivers of Bangladesh. I am not saying to provide training on “how to drive” only; it should be more than that. To make our drivers calm, responsible, empathetic, traffic-rule-followers, we need to provide training for them. Being a Practical Action’s staff-member, I also wonder if there are any technology-based solutions to overcome this problem? Otherwise the number of deaths by road accident will be more and more in the coming days.

If Delhi authority can start thinking about training up their dogs for the betterment of their people, why not we take creative initiatives to save our people’s lives. Do you have any solutions to this problem, technologically?

NOTE:  More than 4,000 people die on Bangladesh’s roads every year. The country has one of the highest rates in the world, with more than 85 deaths for every 10,000 registered motor vehicles. That’s around 50 times higher than the rate in most western countries.


2 responses to “They train dogs – we need to train our drivers”

  1. Md. Kamrul Islam Says:

    Who will take responsibilities for those death? Who will train the drivers? The roads and highways are also not in good condition in Bangladesh. So we need to think about that factor too. However, this is a good writing!

  2. Mokhlesur Rahman Says:

    Good write up!
    What I notice as basic differences are; there to some extent, citizens & media monitor what Government says and does. Citizens also do follow set disciplines (and laws); which has been making significant differences. In both cases we do not. It seems that life is valuable there, and in Rubbish- Khobish Bangladesh, it is not. I would also like add our Khan Saheb (!) to the training participant list.
    Anyway, thanks for nice write up!

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