Sunday 7, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Aster DM Healthcare has launched #iPLEDGE, as part of its Aster SAFEROADS CSR programme, a campaign to help raise awareness on road safety headlined by the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. #iPLEDGE is being rolled out in the GCC and India following its joint announcement by Dr. Azad Moopen, Founding Chairman & Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare and Tendulkar in New Delhi today.
Part of the company’s wider CSR programme Aster SAFEROADS, #iPLEDGE calls for action amongst citizens and expatriate communities in the GCC and India to be more mindful of their presence on the roads and not to be distracted or risk their lives by making simple errors.

Road safety is a major concern as the mortality and disability it brings impacts not just the victims’ loved ones but the countries itself.3 It has been reported that traffic accidents are projected to be the fifth leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability worldwide by 2030.4 Particularly in India and Middle East countries, the incidence of traffic injury is much higher than in the USA and Europe.5 Another report suggested that the Middle East and North Africa region has the second highest road fatality rate in the world.6 In the GCC, the data is equally alarming with nearly 10,000 people killed in 2014 due to road accidents according to a study by Natrans Arabia.7 In India, it was reported that one person dies of road accidents every four minutes in 2013.8

With this in mind, Aster is encouraging young schoolchildren to take the “pledges” with the hope of influencing their elders to do the same. A road show has been activated in India and the GCC to spend time in various schools and raise awareness among students.

Aster SAFEROADS #iPLEDGE incorporates four clear recommendations:
#iPLEDGE to always wear a seat belt
#iPLEDGE to not be on the phone while driving
#iPLEDGE to use zebra crossing, subways and footpaths.
#iPLEDGE to always wear a helmet
Prior to the launch ceremony, Dr. Moopen and Sachin Tendulkar led people to walk on the zebra crossing near the Indira Ghandi Stadium to reiterate the call for a safe manner in using pedestrian lanes and to remind drivers to respect the same. At the event, both Dr. Moopen and Sachin Tendulkar, together with thousands of students took the pledges at the Indira Ghandi Indoor stadium.
Throughout the campaign in the GCC and India, participants are urged to recite their pledges, together with Sachin Tendulkar as the face of the campaign, and post them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter profiles using the handle #iPLEDGE.

“With deaths caused by road accidents whether by those driving or simply crossing from the wrong place, we are unnecessarily diminishing the victims’ potential contribution to the future because we are neglectful and reckless. We cannot let this happen and so at Aster, we have embraced road safety as one of our key CSR activities and we have earmarked a substantial investment and resources to make an impact to society. Thanks to the respected Sachin Tendulkar, we will be able to educate a wider audience through the Aster SAFEROADS #iPLEDGE and get them involved not to just pledge but then practice road safety,” said Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare.
Sachin Tendulkar said during the launch of #iPLEDGE in New Delhi, “It is alarming to know how many senseless injuries and deaths are caused by people who allow themselves to be distracted while driving, not wearing seatbelts, bikers not wearing helmets or by crossing roads that are not meant for pedestrians. I say, let’s put a stop to this and start doing something. As a responsible road user and driver, I engage each one of you to take the pledge and practice what we promised. Through #iPLEDGE, let’s get our family and friends to join our cause and save lives – ours and others.”
Apart from road shows across the GCC and India, Aster SAFEROADS has also launched a special microsite for iPLEDGE that provides more information about the campaign. Visit for additional information. An engaging and interactive game application will also be developed to further illustrate the information on road safety.
Aster SAFEROADS is another significant addition to Aster DM Healthcare’s CSR activities embodying outreach health and safety awareness program and Making a World of Difference. Through the campaign, Aster is encouraging simple steps to avoid mishaps on the road. With its various facilities in India and the GCC, Aster hopes to impart the awareness amongst the local communities.
For Tendulkar’s ardent supporters and followers, a special standee of the cricketer has also been displayed during the road shows for photograph opportunities and selfies.