Meet Khushi Pandey: 22-year-old Lucknow Girl Installing Free Bike Lights on Cycles to Curb Road Accidents
Shivani Gupta: The tragic death of her maternal father in a road accident in Lucknow’s Aminabad on foggy Christmas eve last year (December 25, 2022), inspired a 22-year-old girl to equip cycles in the city with a bike light, voluntarily.
Cycles are widely regarded as most vulnerable among the road users apart from 2-wheeler riders and pedestrians. The government data shows that cyclists contribute a large share of total fatalities on road.
According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Data, 2015 report states that cyclists make up for 46.3 per cent of the total accidents. Analysis of Global Road Safety 2015 – prepared by SaveLIFE Foundation found the road traffic deaths among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists comprise almost half of all the deaths on roads across the world.
Khushi has been helping the marginalized sector in the society in different capacities. She told The Quotes that an unfortunate death of her maternal grandfather forced her to doubt her capabilities as a social worker.
“My Nana was returning from Aminabad on Christmas eve. when he had a fatal accident. He was riding cycle when a vehicle crashed into him. He died on the spot. I am helping so many people in the society but the fact that I could not help my Nana made me sad,” Khushi said.
She further revealed that the incident triggered an idea to equip bicycles in the city with bike lights so that they are visible during foggy weather.
“We did our first installation on January 13th, 2o23 and equipped scores of cycles. I was unaware that I would get such a good response from the public. We have so far installed over 500 bike lights in cycles in the city. Lot of people are requesting me to continue this initiative in different parts of the city,” Khushi told The Quotes.
Khushi is currently pursuing BBA LLB from Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University (SRMU) and works in different capacities to earn bread and butter. She informs that she is providing CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) services to two NGOs as partnership manager, giving tuitions to UPSC civil services students from 11 PM to 2 AM, late night, produces promotional videos for corporates and earns via sessions in different universities.
“I am working on limited funds. I’ll be glad if I can get some financial assistance from corporations so that we can expand our social service in different cities. Cyclists are prone to accidents and we are here to help them. I would request corporate or even stakeholders in the government to extend us some financial assistance,” Khushi said.
Besides installing bike lights in cycles, Khushi is also educating girls in government schools and women in slum areas regarding menstrual hygiene, providing skill-oriented workshops to acid attack survivors, started the open school for underprivileged children, till now distributed dry ration to 11 villages in Lucknow and involved in city clean projects.
“We actively distributed blankets and foods to laborers and among weaker sections of the society. We are also organising skill-oriented workshops for acid attack survivors. I am also holding a lot of sessions in universities and with corporations,” Khushi concluded.