World of India!: Insane opposition to Helmets in India e

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Insane opposition to Helmets in India

If some one was trying to save your life, would you protest against that person, for doing it without your permission? Would you go so far as to file a case against her/him in a court of law?

You think that someone doing so, would be crazy?

Well, would you call able minded, educated people like students of a well known law college, local members of the legislative assembly, an eminent sports medicine doctor and the Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat crazy? Yet, these are the very people, who have opposed tooth and nail, the imposition of the rule sought to be implemented by the local authorities, to make wearing of helmets by two wheeler riders compulsory.

The evidence for helmets saving lives due to prevention of head injuries is irrefutable. According to research reports quoted by The Hindu,"in a mishap, this protective headgear is estimated to lower the likelihood of death by a significant 40 per cent and risk and severity of injury by as much as 70 per cent. When Thailand passed laws making helmets compulsory,the same newspaper reports that the country recorded a 40 per cent drop in head injuries and 24 per cent fewer deaths in motorcycle accidents." Helmets are compulsory in almost all developed and many developing countries. When Taiwan and Italy, where the number of two wheelers is significant, like us, made helmets compulsory, they could achieve a remarkable reduction in deaths and serious injury from accidents.

But in India, opposition to the imposition of helmets remains fierce, among some.The problem is that these silly sods have successfully derailed the imposition of helmets in Pune and now they are trying to do the same in Gulbarga.They object that this rule shouldn't be imposed on people. They want people to have a choice as to whether or not they would like to wear a helmet. But experience with people being given the choice, in this regard,has shown that people invariably end up not wearing helmets, despite being aware of their benefits. One only has to walk about any major Indian city where helmets are not compulsory to know that hardly 1-5% of the people choose to wear them, by choice.

The other objection that protesters came with, in Pune, was more serious. They claimed that helmets did not improve the chances of preventing mortality, as was being claimed by researchers all over the world. They paraded the opinion of a leading sports medicine doctor in Pune, who agreed with them. One does not know what ground breaking research this doctor came up with to come up with these fantastic conclusions, but he might be interested to know that even an apex organisation like the W.H.O, has endorsed the positive benefits of helmets and is trying to persuade countries to adopt this rule.

But when politicos, petty self-interests or plain stupidity takes over, can some one help you? Forget W.H.O, not even the Government of India, can help people when they won't allow themselves and others to be helped. And then these same people turn around and accuse the Govt.of doing nothing to improve road safety!

The opposition to the helmet rule in Pune and some other Indian cities serves as an excellent example of the self defeatist and crab mentality that some Indians possess, and would even be comic, had it not been so tragic and even, murderous. Like when yesterday afternoon, I saw a scooter driver dead near the RCF building in Chembur, Mumbai, with severe injuries to his head. Had he been wearing an helmet, he could have survived.

Vinashkaale Viparit Buddhi!

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December 25, 2006 8:26 PM

I concur with you.. Some reasons I have heard for not wearing helmets

1. It gets too hot
2. The hair styling goes for a toss
3. The hair starts falling more

;-)    



December 25, 2006 10:50 PM

vijay,

i have heard the same too. to be honest, i never wore a helmet in my college days, either. but then, i lke to think that i have grown wiser : )    



December 26, 2006 10:53 AM

Hey man...
A very nice blog.. I liked the way u quoted the statistics from the newspapers..
I totally agree about the helmet rule.. If ppl dont put it on themselves, it'll serve a better purpose even if its forced on them.. Infact, i had written a blog myself in this regard a few days back at http://blogsarovar.blogspot.com/2006/12/sar-mein-helmet-nahi-toh-hoge-hells.html
Do check it out & feel free to comment..    



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