Can Road Accidents Supplement Family Planning?

Not a day goes by in any part of India, without the local press reporting some deaths due to accidents on local roads. Roughly 300 deaths per day are reported everyday from all over the country and it is expected to increase steadily with more vehicles coming on India’s roads. This has led some thinkers to give serious consideration to this method as a viable one to control India’s population and to suggest that such accidents must be encouraged by a series of measures by all government bodies and politicians.

As India begins to shine, it is blessed with the unchecked growth of vehicular population, two wheelers to massive big multi-wheeled semis, constantly jostling for space on limited road surfaces. Enterprising unemployed farmers have even come with a very functional vehicle called the Juggad, which need not be registered with the local RTO, as it is claimed to be for agricultural purposes. The same surface is used by vast hordes of pedestrians and animals too.

The use of roads by non-motorists is not restricted to just walking or cycling, but also to build shantytowns and places of worship. Sometimes, when a worthy personality is killed on one of these roads, a monument is also very likely to come up on the spot where the unfortunate incident took place. If the local heavy weight wants to make some money for his good friend the sculptor, he is likely to erect a statue of a national or regional leader in the middle of a convenient road, and to safeguard its future, get it inaugurated by a political heavyweight too. Seeing how desperate a problem India’s population is, the Central, State and Local governments, all cooperate with each other, in a rare instance of unity, in creating more pot holes than drivable roads, so that accidents can take place.

These developments effectively reduce the area available for vehicular traffic and cause accidents resulting in death or injury. If an accident does take place, and someone falls down injured on the road, no passerby is likely to take him to the nearest hospital as, he dreads the prospect of bureaucratic hassles and police harassment, when all that he wants to do is to be a good Samaritan. The victim is likely to die unattended.

Indians are notorious individualists. They brook no interference in their movements and resist all attempts to guide them to their own safety. It would appear that they have all been trained to be the Indian equivalent of suicide bombers. Instead of bombs, an Indian simply gets on to any handy vehicle and declares war on all that comes in his way. If the vehicle turns out to be a two-wheeler, he will shun the use of a helmet as being unsuited for the Indian climate with predictable results to himself and other similar helmet less riders.

As per statistics put out by the National Crime Records Bureau, India has just been declared runner up in the race to control population, through deaths arising out of road accidents. The winner as expected has been China. While China has actually reported a decrease in deaths due to road accidents from 98,738 in 2005 to 89,455 in 2006, India registered 98,254 and 105,725 respectively. If this trend continues, as it indeed is likely to, India should easily become the number one performer. India will not only become number one, it will also make substantial reduction to the national population. To speed up the process, it is suggested that India holds annual national championships between the states, to generate the maximum road accidents.

Apart from the largest state in size and population, Uttar Pradesh, which has to be number one in something, the three great states that lead in the prosperity ratings of the country, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, are the frontline players in this great game of population control through road deaths. Between the four of them, they account for almost 60% of all road deaths of India. The rest of the country, are not likely to take this affront lying down and will do everything possible to catch up with these upstarts.

It is rumored that, other countries battling with population control and not succeeding with their current strategies have sought specialized training by Indian experts on this technology.

What can officially be done to increase the death rate due to road accidents? Can a formal Manual of Operations be issued to all local authorities? Can special training programs be conducted to facilitators after identifying those who will be enthused in this laudable endeavor?