Directing traffic could well turn a new leaf in the lives of the inmates of Snehalaya, a Chandigarh administration-run home for destitute children at Maloya. This seems to have been the guiding thought behind a new project initiated by the administration in collaboration with the local police.
Under the scheme, 40 inmates, both boys and girls, aged between 16-18 years have been selected to participate in the enforcement drives of the traffic police. The inmates are undergoing a week's training and are being sensitised on the need for road safety and the importance of traffic law enforcement in getting road users also to understand the concept.
UT traffic (SSP) Maneesh Chaudhry, maintained that the inmates of Snehalaya were picked after seeking their consent.
"The prime job of those involved with the programme would be to make road users aware of their responsibilities. They would be invited to all the road safety campaigns and programmes organised by the local traffic police.
They will also be used to bring out publicity material such as posters and hand-outs on road safety awareness." He termed this as a very important social exercise.
The volunteers will be given special uniform and badges by the UT social welfare department which they will wear during the enforcement activities.
UT social welfare director Rajesh Jogpal said that the scheme would help inculcate discipline and help children develop their personality.
"All the residents of Snehalaya are dependent on the administration. The scheme will enhance their sense of self worth," said Jogpal.
Snehalaya is home to children between the ages of 5-18 years, who are found on the streets, single parent children, orphans and those abandoned. The children are admitted after the scrutiny by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
Zulfikar Khan, who works for upliftment of slum children through his NGO Theatre Age, said that considering the background of the children, this scheme will given them a big exposure. "These children have little exposure of the outside world. The scheme will also motivate them to join the police," said Khan.