Nitin Gadkari, Union Road Transport & Highways Minister, in what seems to be an out-of-the-box gesture, has urged Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar to become the “brand ambassador for road safety” in India. He also assured Tendulkar that his ministry will take necessary steps to check the use of low-quality helmets. In Feburary 2018, Tendulkar had requested Gadkari to take strictest possible action against low-quality helmet manufacturers due to the high rate of accidents involving two-wheeler riders in India.
“As you had indicated in your letter, it is an undenying fact that the road safety is matter of serious concern for all of us. Almost one and a half lakh people lose their lives every year in road accidents. despite various road safety improvement programmes are in place, the road traffic injuries leading to deaths, disabilities and subsequent hospitalisation causing severe socio-economic costs, still remain a cause of grave concern in our country,” Gadkari said in his letter addressed to Tendulkar. Gadkari also stated that Tendulkar's presence n road safety advocacy programmes would make a bigg difference in creating a social movement and awareness on road safety.
As per industry insiders and various surveys, nearly 85 percent of the helmets sold in India are either non-ISI marked or sub-standard. Rajeev Kapur, ISI Helmet Manufacturers association said about 275 manufacturers have got ISI certification and they have capacity to produce at least 2.75 lakh helmets a day. “Roughly, the daily sale of helmets in country is about 2.5 to 2.7 lakh. So, we have the licence to manufacture quality helmet, but people are buying spurious products even as they are paying the full amount of an ISI-marked helmet,” Kapur said. For those asking, Sachin Tendulkar is currently the brand ambassador of the German luxury automaker BMW in India.
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