Time Limit: 5 to 7 minutes with a minimum qualification time of 4 minutes 30 seconds and maximum time of 7 minutes 30 seconds.
[I’ll be walking with a newspaper in my hand and uttering the following]
A female in early 30s died in a road accident in Gomtinagar area. 32 killed in Assam road accident. 6 killed, 20 injured in Karnataka road accidents. Software professional loses life while crossing railway line…. These are some of the common headlines we come across, almost every day in newspapers these days. It is disgusting and disheartening to know that India stands first in the globe in terms of road and rail accidents. There were 3,94,982 accidental deaths in the country last year out of which over 2 lakhs were just due to road and railway accidents. This is equivalent to losing almost the entire population of the city of Pune every year. If we look at the root cause of all these, the primary reason is “WE”. Our carelessness and the shortcuts we follow. I am going to discuss about five shortcuts which could cut short your life.
SHORTCUT #1: Shortcuts while crossing roads and railway lines:
Though the government has constructed comfortable, wide and spacious foot over bridges, there are some lazy morons who cross the railway lines and busy roads. To some extent I would accept this if it was committed by an age old person who cannot climb stairs, but most often people who do this fall in the age group of 15-29. Kindly use foot over bridges, for friends, this is one shortcut which can cut short your life.
SHORTCUT #2: Shortcuts to office and home:
It is a universal truth that we have a tendency to start late from home in the morning. As a result of this we are always in a hurry while driving. Many times I see people driving too fast, driving on one way roads, crossing the median at wrong place, overtaking other vehicles in a flyover, overtaking other vehicles in a deep curve and many other shortcuts. This is one of the major causes of road accidents in our country. Kindly do not violate traffic rules, for friends; this is one shortcut which can cut short your life.
SHORTCUT #3: Shortcuts to saving fuel cost :
We all know that many companies including our own TCS is promoting the concept of car pooling. But no company has ever promoted something called Bike pooling. Still, there are many who do this crime. I call this a crime, or rather an equivalent crime to murder because it may jeopardize not only your life, but also the lives of many. It is important to save fuel and save cost but not at the cost of your life. Kindly do not overload your vehicle, for friends; this is one short cut which can cut short your life.
SHORTCUT #4: Shortcut to giving status reports
This is a very common problem that India is cursed with today. We see many people on road giving status reports while driving. Various kinds of status reports for that matter. It may be a status report about project to your boss or your client, status report to your spouse, facebook status updates while driving etc. This is a very serious problem, because mobile phones distract the drivers attention which eventually leads to accidents. There is no hurry or shortcut required here. Park your vehicle in a corner of the road and then take calls. Much better option would be to reach your destined place and then take calls or update facebook status. Kindly do not use mobile phone while driving, for friends; this is one short cut which can cut short your life.
SHORTCUT #5: Shortcut to experiencing quality music
Roads and railway lines are not the places to prove that we are AR Rahman fans or Michael Jackson fans. There are always better places to prove it. I was shocked when I heard that few of our own TCS employees lost life just because they were listening to loud music while crossing the railway line. They couldn’t hear a train approaching them and pathetically got run over. Kindly take time and leisurely listen to quality music and not while driving or crossing roads and railway lines, for friends; this is one short cut which may cut short your life. Fellow toastmasters and guests, please understand that god has given us just one life for everything. One life to stay happy, one life to enjoy, one life to laugh, one life to cry, one life to love each other, one life to prove your abilities and just one life for everything. If these short cuts are going to cut short your precious life, why follow them? Why lose your life and give an emotional burden to your kith and kin. Why lose life without achieving what you wanted to. Friends, I request you all to repeat after me, “I pledge to be a safe road user. I will avoid taking shortcuts and prevent my life from getting cut short”. Thank you and over to you toastmaster.