CoRPS addresses an area of dire need in India - number of road deaths. About 17 people die on Indian roads every hour. 8 of them are women and children and 6 of them are earning members of the family!
CoRPS also strives to attack the root cause of road-rage and road-abuse in India, and aims to bring empathetic and sensitive behavior in driving.
Need of the hour is to sensitize young road users and equip the children with the right skills and empathy. CoRPS is committed to do that in the first phase.
GENESIS - what triggers this project
17 people die and hundreds get injured on the Indian roads every hour! Road deaths and injuries are the top-most occupational hazard in India - bigger than terrorism in terms of deaths. Apathy (and sometimes antipathy) has become a norm on the Indian roads, and is not an exception anymore.
RESEARCH AND INSIGHTS - the need to think beyond the obvious
Several organizations including WHO, Govt of India, and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences have observed that it is the heterogeneous nature of road users and vehicles that makes it systemically difficult to achieve road safety. However, we believe that the problem could be deeper.
There is a need to carefully examine the causes to this human behavior as much as to increase awareness / education levels. Of course, there are infrastructure issues but we believe that people-centric interventions will be most effective and sustainable in long term.
TARGET SEGMENT - beneficiaries who will drive the change
Road is not only the means of transportation. It is also livelihood for many and a community-space for others. Besides of course, there are a variety of drivers with great difference in education levels, driving auto rickshaws, buses, transport vehicles, cars and two-wheelers.
CoRPS will impact each of the user-segments but in phases. But most importantly, the interventions will be with children - the future road-users.
User Group - Children (10-14yrs)
Intervention - Road Safety Curriculum - 'Empathy on the Road'
What: This curriculum, combination of experiential and facilitated learning, will educate children about the road dynamics, users, principles of shared social spaces, and road safety. It will be developed by experts with inputs from social entrepreneurs.
Where: It will be piloted in two schools in Bangalore, and thereafter in a mix of private and government schools.
How: CoRPS will identify young leaders within schools to scale the program further.
User Group: Working youth (24-35yrs)
Intervention: Community program to sensitize youth on responsible driving
What: CoRPS will develop a community of young volunteers and leaders to develop movements, comprising hang-outs, community meetings, and virtual and physical events, to discuss issues around 'driving' and 'lack of empathy'.
Where: Bangalore first
How: CoRPS is building a 2-3hour program for the working youth, which will be pitched to the companies as a part of their induction / training programs, against a fee. This program will invite interests to become CoRPS volunteers and/or leaders (who may want to do more). In the next stage, CoRPS will just facilitate discussions in public settings, to spark thoughts and carefully anchoring them for a logical outcome.
Where: Bangalore first
CoRPS believes that the school curriculum will be a very effective and interesting tool for children to learn empathy and road safety aspects. For example, the following outcomes will emerge from this program:
- children in the formative years will know the importance of road as the only SHARED social space, which requires the skill of empathy
- children, having gone through this program, will start relating with the road dynamics, which is an everyday reality. They will begin looking at different road users in a different light
- Those who show interest to lead small changemaking initiatives around road safety, will be supported and mentored through volunteers / leaders from 'working youth' program.
- We also believe that some children will impact their parent's thinking and behavior while driving, which is natural extension of their life
Market place comprises of 5-6 large metros with a population of about 100m. There are limited number of roads, while India registers over 60000 new vehicles every year! So pressure on roads is only increasing.
Besides, roads are the only social space shared by everyone. It is important to demonstrate mutual respect, which will influence the driving behavior.
CoRPS is a very simple model. It can easily be replicated in other metros and tier II cities across India. It can be scaled very quickly given the CoRPS will create a template approach to the program.
CoRPS will have several citizen sector and non-govt organizations like Savelife Foundation or Lifeline Foundation, institutions like IRTE and advocacy organizations, as partners. The model itself is complementary to other organizations, rather than competitive.
The school and working youth programs may have competition if other organizations create as simple modules as CoRPS and start selling. But as is clear, there is massive market to take more than one provider also. It will only aide CoRPS' vision of making Indian roads safer.
Going forward, CoRPS will develop expertise and wealth that could be shared with newer players in this space, which will accelerate delivery. For example, CoRPS' methodology and tools could be licensed or sold to other players, or as a consulting service.