(We are producing an open letter written to our student community and administration by our alumni, Vasudevan Raghavan (Mechanical 1983) and Animesh Pathak (CSE 2003). Here they are stressing the need for use of safety helmet by students while driving motorbikes. This simple step will save many lives lost by students in tragic road accidents, as seen in the recent tragic death of Mr. Divya Jyoti Das, a student. Divya Jyoti was killed few weeks ago while driving a motorbike and colliding with a truck. V. Raghavan can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org and Animesh Pathak at: email@example.com)
(Use of helmet while riding a motorbike)
We, the alumni of our beloved institute are deeply grieved and shocked to hear about the tragic accident and subsequent death of one of our very capable students - Divya Jyoti Das, (2nd Year Metallurgy) on 5th Sept. Apart from being a very good student, he also had a well-rounded personality, participating in the design and writing of the edition of Pulse, the institute's student-run newsletter, which was revived this month. In the death of Divya Jyoti Das, we have definitely lost someone with a great potential, but before it could bloom into its full.
We are all aware that this was not the first such accident that claimed the life of promising young person, but we are convinced that we could make this the last such incident, if we all put our heart and will together to take some concrete actions.
We, the alumni are aware that the BHU administration has "officially" banned the usage of scooters and motorcycles by students within the campus, but the reality is that the students work around this ban by parking the bikes outside the university walls and by using it outside the campus. This being the reality, we feel that the institute should proactively take steps that can make it safer for the students to ride the bikes.
It is possible to make helmets available to the students at an affordable price and the institute certainly has the wherewithal to make this happen, by facilitating the sale of helmets at a discount to the students. The administration can motivate the dealers to sell helmets at an attractive price, and if necessary, some funds could be made available to the students through institute from the alumni's end, enabling them to get helmets at a subsidized rate.
The institute can initiate the following action points:
1. Initiate a program at the institute to make students acutely aware of the necessity to wear helmets and in other aspects of road-safety.
2. To approach the dealers of helmets to negotiate a suitable price at which helmets become affordable to the students.
3. To let alumni know if we could help in this program in any other manner. We are all very nervous about such incidents of death due to road mishaps happening from time to time and would like our students to complete their stay at the alma mater in complete safety.
We sincerely hope that the bike-owning students of the institute will come forward to make full use of the administration's assistance, and will resolve to use the helmets, both for the rider and the pillion, while riding their bikes.
We look forward to students and the institute administration taking some pro-active action to prevent such mishaps in future.
With warm regards,
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Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi 221005, UP