Pune: Do you believe that one person can make a difference?
Bapurao Gund, the 46 year old Phursungi resident believes in this phrase and is also working towards it. The man who has volunteered for social causes like 'save water' and 'cast your vote' earlier; applies a different technique to promote them. Wearing a 'kurta' with messages written all over it, for traffic awareness in various languages, Gund is roaming around the city roads to appeal to the commuters to be more obedient while driving.
Gund, who works as a security guard in a private firm in the city, is commuting on the city roads post work, wearing a self-designed kurta since few days. His kurta is the reason attracts many eyeballs on roads. His white kurta has numerous messages in five different languages. 'Drive slow', 'Safety first, speed later' etc. are the slogans you can spot instantly.
Why Gund is doing this? "I want to spread awareness among citizens over the issues of traffic. Most people, especially with two-wheelers, do not follow traffic rules and violate them when there is no police official present. One habit that should be primarily controlled is talking on the mobile phones while riding/driving. Especially college going youngsters who do not pay any heed and talk while driving. A large number of accidents have happened due to this. Many people have lost their lives. Such habits not only affect the people who are violating the rules, but also the ones following the rules have fallen prey to this. I am making an appeal, hoping that at least one person stops making such mistakes," he informs.
With the road-safety slogans written in Marathi, Hindi, English, Telugu and Urdu, Gund also wants to spread a message of unity in diversity. "Pune is a cosmopolitan city now. People from
diverse regions who speak different language reside here. I have written the messages in all these languages so that everybody can understand it and sense the intensity. I have many youngsters coming to me looking curiously at my attire. This is a way to grab attention. My real work starts when I stand at a chowk and tell them to follow the traffic rules. To certain extent, I have succeeded in that as I meet youngsters confessing their mistakes and again there are others who circulate my pictures on facebook to spread the awareness."
He intends to double his efforts during Independence day and Ganpati festival as there is more traffic-chaos during these days. Gund is setting an example by fighting for a cause irrespective of the support he gets.