Central Railway’s Wadala Model, a public awareness campaign, which displayed a series of images of a man being crushed by train and his expression of agony, has won international recognition. This model was presented as a case study at the World Social Marketing Conference at Dublin on Tuesday.
Introduced in December 2009, this model created awareness among commuters against hazards of trespassing and helped reduce accident figures on the central line, which reports maximum number of deaths on tracks.
“There has been a fall in number of death cases due to trespassing by 71% after this experiment was introduced,” said MC Chauhan, divisional railway manager, CR.
The Dublin conference displayed case studies from across the world for creating awareness in various fields, including blood donation, reducing risk of HIV transmission, encouraging contraceptive usage, cessation of smoking and alcohol addiction among teenagers, among other campaigns to curb social ails.
The Wadala experiment had a psychological impact on commuters and these images worked at a sub-conscious level and made them avoid risking their lives by crossing tracks. The warning signs put up by the CR had failed to instill fear but images of a dying man forced commuters to imagine themselves in such situations and stop trespassing.
Statistics show that six months before this model was implemented, Wadala station had reported 24 deaths, but within six months, this figure came down drastically to 9. Officials claim that there have been no deaths on tracks at Wadala in last three months although there might be cases of people getting injured while trespassing.