Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ANZ Bank: Road Safety Awareness Workshops

ANZ Bank: Road Safety Awareness Workshops
January 18-21, 2010

ANZ Bank (Australia New Zealand Bank) is the largest Australian bank in Asia with over 170 years of banking experience and six million customers worldwide. ANZ Bank operates a software division in Bangalore, India, along with a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) division.

In support of the Government of India’s Road Safety campaign in January 2010, ANZ’s CSR division wanted to promote road safety practices amongst local school communities in Bangalore. Mr. Ajay, an Associate Manager at ANZ CSR’s division, organized five volunteers from ANZ to facilitate workshops on road safety awareness at secondary high schools from January 18th-21st 2010. With the help of Sackhumvit Trust and Dream School Foundation, ANZ conducted this program at four government/government-aided schools in R.T. Nagar, Yeshwantpur, and Rajajinagar, Bangalore. The schools and number of participants in each workshop are detailed below:
  1. Govt. Higher School, Rajajinagar, Bangalore (44)
  2. Bapu School, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore (53)
  3. R.T. Nagar Govt. PU College, R.T. Nagar, Bangalore (65)
  4. Almubark Primary Girl’s English High School, R.T. Nagar, Bangalore (73)
ANZ Bank was keen to work with high school students at government schools for this programme, as these students often walk on the streets independently, ride bicycles, rely on public transportation, and transport their younger siblings to and from school. According to the Government of India’s Road Safety campaign, over one lakh people die every year due to road traffic accidents, and road accidents are one of the leading causes of death amongst children in India.

The workshop primarily focused on interpretation of road signs and best-practices while driving and/or walking on streets. It was explained to students that while the majority of them do not drive cars, an understanding of road signs is still important for pedestrians and cyclists. Students also learned best practices for crossing the road as a pedestrian, and key hand signals while riding a bicycle.

The students participated enthusiastically during the workshops, with most of them expressing that they had learned something constructive. ANZ volunteers encouraged students to share this knowledge with their peers and families, so as to increase awareness on road safety.

Due to time constraints, however, it was not feasible to incorporate a practical component to the workshop, where students could have observed road signs and safety practices on the streets surrounding their school under supervision of workshop facilitators. Such a dimension would have made the workshop more interactive and participatory.

Sackhumvit Trust is grateful for the opportunity to bring together volunteers from ANZ Bank with the various school communities associated with Dream School Foundation. We hope this is the beginning of a long-term partnership that increases the cooperation of private and civil society volunteers with non-profits and government schools serving underprivileged students.

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