Mumbai, December 4, 2017
Mahindra Truck and Bus Division (MTBD), a part of the Mahindra Group, launched a book
titled, ‘Have a Safe Journey’, the world’s first collection of short stories that focus on the topic of road safety. This book launch is part of the ambitious road safety program with the hashtag #HaveaSafeJourney (#HASJ), initiated in 2016 between MTBD, Ministry of Road Transport
and Highways (MORTH) and Natural Habitat Preservation (NHP) Centre.
Published by Amaryllis, the book comprises stories by bestselling writers such as Ashwin
Sanghi, Anand Neelakantan and Shinie Antony. In addition the book also has tales drawn out
from a countrywide story writing contest on road safety issues. The foreword of the book has
been written by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping.
There is also a special message by Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group.
As part of the program, there was a contest held for the best 30 short stories related to road
safety issues; the book launch is a culmination of the winners identified post the contest. This
unique and creative idea to promote a social cause stems out of the firm belief that literature
can serve as an effective medium to connect and engage with people, particularly the
younger generation, for promoting awareness. Writing stories about negligence and casual
approach to road safety norms can strike a chord with almost everyone. Mahindra is
committed towards making India’s roads safer and the #HASJ initiative is a unique endeavour
to leverage the power of literature towards this end. The book, which features stories that
highlight issues of road safety, is aimed at social transformation to make our roads safer, to
ensure that precious lives lost on roads and huge financial losses are curtailed.
Approximately 1.30 million people die each year globally as a result of road traffic crashes,
according to the Global Road Safety Report, 2015 by the World Health Organisation. In India,
around 1.5 lakh people die in nearly five lakh road accidents reported every year across the
country. Due to such a large number of accidents, the country ends up losing over Rs 55,000
crore annually. In addition to this, such deaths cause lifelong trauma to the affected families,
often impacting the personal and professional lives of affected family members in unexpected
MORTH has undertaken several key initiatives towards improving road safety in the last two
years. One of the most important decisions in this direction has been to increase the total
stretch of National Highways from 96,000 km to 2,00,000 km. With this, the traffic on National
Highways will go up to 80 per cent of total traffic from the present 40 per cent. When such a
huge proportion of traffic manages to avail of better quality National Highways, road accidents
and resultant casualties are bound to come down significantly.
One of the other crucial decisions has been to reduce the threshold for conversion of two lane
highways into four lane highways, from 15,000 passenger car units (PCUs) to 10,000 PCUs.
Besides, a concentrated effort at addressing the accident-prone ‘black spots’ on national
highways has been initiated. The government has devised a comprehensive plan,
encapsulating the five Es- education, engineering, enforcement, emergency care and
enactment to bring down road accidents significantly in the years to come.