Lost granddad in accident, Lucknow woman equips hundreds of bicycles with flashlights
Khushi Pandey from Ashiyana Colony has been fixing red flashlights on bicycles, an initiative that she calls ‘Project Ujala’.
Lost grandparent in road accident, Lucknow girl equips hundreds of bicycles with flashlights
: Grief-stricken by the death of her maternal grandfather in a bicycle accident, a 22-year-old BBA LLB student in Lucknow has taken it up on herself to make riding a safer experience for others.
Khushi Pandey from Ashiyana Colony has been fixing red flashlights on bicycles, an initiative that she calls ‘Project Ujala’. She can often be seen standing on key intersections of the city holding a placard that reads “cycle pe light lagwao”.
Some users shared videos of Khushi on Twitter after which it did not take long for people to take note of her efforts.
“My grandfather, Shri Nath Tiwari, 68, rode his cycle to work every day since he could not afford a motorbike. One foggy December night in 2020 when he was coming back home, he was hit by a speeding car near Awadh Crossing. He was taken to a hospital by the car driver, where he died,” Khushi says. She feels that his death could have been avoided if he was visible to the car driver. “That’s why I decided to fix lights on every bicycle.”
The cost of one such light is ₹450. She funds her work with the donations she gets and even spends from of her own pocket. Despite still being a graduate student, she works for two firms and even teaches.
“I started my project in January this year and fix anywhere between 70 to 80 lights per day. So far, I have fixed flashlights to 1,550 bicycles.”
Khushi has also written to road safety officials requesting them to make such lights mandatory for all bicycles.
Khushi also teaches 82 underprivileged students with the help of volunteers. She also distributes sanitary napkins, which she gets from brands in exchange for handling their promotion, to girls at government schools. She also organises workshops at Sheroes Cafe for acid attack survivors.
According to the latest NCRB report, road accident deaths in the country rose by nearly 17% in 2021 over the previous year. The highest number of road accident cases was reported in Tamil Nadu (57,090), followed by Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.