I am Anusha Jaishankar and I am a Bangalorean.
I was born here in Bangalore, grew up here and studied to be an Engineer. After my graduation, I moved to the US. I earned a Masters degree in Computer Engineering and lived and worked in the Silicon Valley, California for over 15 years.
About 3 years ago, my family got the opportunity to move back to Bangalore. Although we had been seeing the growth in the city over the 15 years that we were away (every 2 or 3 years, approximately 5-8 days at a time), when we actually moved back here, the thing that we were faced with every time we got out, was the traffic. The predominant culture on the road seemed very aggressive, self-centered and completely unbecoming of Bangalore and its people.
On a personal front, I used our move back from the US as an opportunity to start focusing my energy on more community oriented projects. I consulted with Arghyam, an NGO that works on Water and Sanitation on a water quality testing program for students across thousands of schools in India and then managed a website revamp project at Arghyam.
At the same time, I did the Social Entrepreneurship Outlook Program (SEOP) for professionals at the Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM) to learn about the non-government and social sectors. On the side, I put together a magazine called Pathways for CSIM (http://csimbangalore.wordpress.com)
The SEOProgram with CSIM ends with an internship. I did my internship with CMCA (Children's Movement for Civic Awareness). I had a small idea for a road safety behavior change initiative based on Positive Reinforcement of good behaviors on the road. During the internship, I spoke with many people in diverse fields and developed the program.
The development continued long after the internship was over. I continued as an Honorary Road Safety Program Coordinator with CMCA, worked on collaborating with the Bangalore Traffic Police and continued to develop the program, utilizing the high tech infrastructure belonging to the Bangalore Traffic Police. Positive Strokes is the result.
The Positive Strokes program is organized as an annual program with four campaigns, one every 3 months. Each campaign has a TMC Event, which lasts 2 weeks and a Junction Event.
We secured a sponsorship from Fastrack - a division of Titan Company Ltd. and just completed a successful first campaign. The campaign ended with the Junction Event. The Junction Event is the awareness-building element of Positive Strokes. Among others, a leading national newspaper covered this event. (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/100-motorists-get-certificates-for-being-good-on-the-road/article5951500.ece)
There are many more avenues for development of Positive Strokes and I look forward to working on these.