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Suryakant Jena

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday launched the first of its kind 'Rakshak' initiative to save human lives during cases of road mishaps.

As many as 30000 volunteers staying or working at the eateries and different business establishments located near accident prone will be trained under the state-level programme of the State Transport Department as First Responders who will reach out to victims of road accidents.

As per sources, in the first phase of the initiative, around 300 master trainers will be imparted training by experts at 10 places - Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, Koraput, Phulbani, Sundergarh, Keonjhar, and Bhawanipatna. The Master Trainers include volunteers from the Indian Red Cross Society, Odisha State Branch and NGOs across the state

Subsequently, the master trainers will tour accident-prone areas in all the 30 districts of the State and help train locals to lend a helping hand to victims of road accidents.

Nearly 30000 first responders will be trained in handling first aid and trauma care of victims especially during the golden period, the first hour immediately after the accident.

"Road accidents are a serious cause of concern for all of us. This has a serious impact on families and our economy. In a road accident situation, the first hour after the incident is the most critical for saving lives. You all are Good Samaritans. Nothing is more pious than saving human lives hit by accidents," Patnaik said while launching the initiative at the Convention Centre of the Lok Seva Bhawan today.

The Chief Minister highlighted that the state government has made a provision to reward people with Rs 2000 who come forward to help accident victims. Odisha government has also instituted a fund of Rs 147 crore for treatment of road accident sufferers, said the CM.

During the occasion, Patnaik also inaugurated Odisha Public Transport and Integrated Commuter System (OPTICS) application which will enable citizens to know about bus at a location, bus between locations, bus information such as RC, permit, route and time. Apart from this citizens can rate buses as per their journey experience. Citizens can also file complaints against a bus for a specific reason.

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