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Aster DM Healthcare has launched #iPLEDGE, as part of its Aster SAFEROADS CSR programme. A campaign to help raise awareness on road safety, #iPLEDGE was 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. Part of the company’s wider CSR programme, Aster SAFEROADS, #iPLEDGE calls for action amongst citizens and expatriate communities in the GCC and India. It asks for people to be more mindful of their presence on the roads and not to be distracted or risk their lives by making errors.

Road safety is a major concern as the mortality and disability it brings, impacts not just the victims and their loved ones, but also their countries. 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. Particularly in India and the Middle East countries, the incidence of traffic injury is much higher than that in the USA and Europe. Another report suggested that the Middle Eastern and North African regions have the second highest road fatality rate in the world. 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. In India, it was reported that road accidents killed a person every four minutes in 2013.

With this in mind, Aster is encouraging young school children to take a ‘Pledge’, with the hope that it will influence their elders to do the same. A road show has been activated in India and the GCC, so as to spend time in various schools and raise awareness among students.

The Aster SAFEROADS #iPLEDGE programme incorporates four clear recommendations:

Prior to the launch ceremony, Dr. Moopen and Sachin Tendulkar led people to walk on the zebra crossing near the Indira Gandhi 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 Gandhi 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 their 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, unnecessarily diminishing the victims’ potential contribution to the future, because of neglect and recklessness. 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 substantial investments and resources to make an impact on society. Thanks to Sachin Tendulkar, we will be able to educate a wider audience through the Aster SAFEROADS #iPLEDGE campaign and get them involved not to just pledge but also 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."

Aster SAFEROADS is another significant addition to Aster DM Healthcare’s CSR activities embodying outreach health & 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..