200 Indian high school students from Bilaspur (a central Indian city of 450.000 inhabitants) decided to drastically reduce emissions and greenhouse gases, noise pollution and road accidents around their school.
The students analyzed all aspects of road traffic and its consequences on the environment, including: traffic jams, noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and accidents. They realized that the drivers’ behavior was largely responsible for this and concluded that if each individual changes his or her behavior, the results can be huge.
The students decided that it was most crucial to act at local level. They began by focusing on reducing the traffic chaos at the entrance of their school. This is situated on a main road where dozens of cycle-rickshaws, auto-trishaws, and other public and private vehicles park to pick up and drop off the students, in addition to the many passing vehicles. The students believed that working on this concrete issue may help decrease the number of accidents in their immediate surroundings and designed an action plan in order to find implement viable solutions.
The initial phase of the action plan focused on analysis: the students put their minds to investigating the causes of the traffic congestion in front of the school. They concluded that the majority of problems arise at the time one group of students finishes school around noon, and the others wait to start their classes.
Based on their findings, the students designed a map of the various access points around the school in order to identify the most problematic areas. They advised their schoolmates to avoid coming to school by car, and to consider traveling by bicycle or on foot to enhance safety.
They created an exhibition in which they displayed slogans, posters and photos covering different aspects of road safety. The students also visited other schools to explain the importance of traffic rules and provided active demonstrations highlighting the need for greater awareness, at various important squares around the city.