Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj on Monday flagged off Suraksha Yatra – a motor car rally from Rajghat in New Delhi to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The flag off was also part of an event to launch the 30th National Road Safety Week. The rally will travel through places historically associated with Mahatma Gandhi, both in India, as well as in Bangladesh and Myanmar and will pass through Sabarmati, Porbandar, Dandi, Yerwada, Sewagram, Jabalpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, ChauriChaura, Champaran, Shantiniketan and Kolkata in India before traveling to Dhaka in Bangladesh. It will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on the 24th of February, covering a total distance of 7250 km. The rally is part of the year-long celebrations to commemorate the 150th year of Mahatma Gandhi in India and across the globe, initiated by Government of India on 2nd October last year. It will take up advocacy on Road Safety concerns along the route.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said, “the objective of the rally is to spread Gandhiji’s message of Satya and Ahimsa among people.” He said Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals are very relevant in today’s times and are respected by people the world over. Gadkari said that since Mahatma Gandhi is an inspiration for society, this rally on his 150th birth anniversary can have a big impact in creating awareness on the issues of road safety.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called upon road users to adopt Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of Peace, Patience and Tolerance for improving road behaviour. She referred to the increasing cases of road-rage, and said that a large number of road accidents occur because people are not mentally at peace while driving, they are impatient and intolerant. She said, adopting Mahatma Gandhi’s principles can help in making people more peaceful, patient and tolerant, thereby preventing road accidents.