The tragic death of Billal (from Betila ward in Manikganj, Bangladesh)
Billal (aged 6) was playing with his friends on the side of road. His uncle called to him from across the street. As Billal began to cross, a motorised three-wheeler hit Billal and threw him about three meters away. Billal suffered injuries on his head and different parts of his body, eventually succumbing to death on the way to Manikganj Hospital. The driver tried to flee but was caught by local people and handed over to the police. The driver (a local) apparently had a history of causing serious accidents beforeheld no valid license.
One accident not only disabled Baten Mian, it disabled lives of his family as well
With a crutch stuck firmly under his arm, Baten Mian runs a tea stall in Gazipur district. After carelessly getting down from a tempo (three wheel human hauler), he was trampled by a speeding truck. Baten was lucky to survive, but he lost a leg. All his wealth and savings were spent for his treatment. The tea stall he set up by borrowing money is providing subsistence to seven dependents including four children.
Evolution of community safety approach
In 2004, BRAC, in collaboration with Transport Research Laboratory UK, conducted a community based action research in the community of Betila in Bangladesh. It was done to identify a cost-effective and good practice guideline in order to carry out road safety community education programmes in developing countries.
The study observed behaviour of local pedestrians, held in-depth individual and household surveys and FGDs with different segments of the community and on existing accident records. The community was engaged to identify the pressing road safety problems and prompted to suggest awareness raising mechanisms that they deemed effective. A ‘before and after intervention’ evaluation process was also applied to see the impact of interventions in improving pedestrians’ knowledge and behaviour.
This action research laid the groundwork for BRAC Road Safety Programme's approach to community based projects.
Download the research.