Bengaluru traffic is perhaps one of the worst in the world — managing it is a herculean task indeed for the traffic police.
Of late though, the traffic cops are receiving assistance from traffic wardens – citizen volunteers, who take time out of their busy schedules, to bring discipline on the road.
People from all kinds of educational and professional backgrounds are serving in Bengaluru as traffic wardens as part of the ‘Bengaluru city police traffic warden organisation’. A voluntary organisation with lots of challenges, it started in 1985 to assist the city traffic police. It had just a few members then, but presently, there are 830 wardens.
A few traffic wardens are CEOs and top entrepreneurs, often seen manning the busy roads of this city. The wardens make a difference by offering solutions to minor problems before they become worse or cause jams. Abhijeet
“By working a few hours a day, we forget our professional lives. If this service can bring some change in people’s lives and make the traffic smoother, then it is a boon. Someone may reach home early and think ‘oh, the traffic was smooth today’. They may not know it is because of the wardens.It may lighten up someone’s evening and bring a smile to their face or save some time or someone’s life even. This is what excites me to be on the road,” says Makhijaani.
Makhijaani joined the Bengaluru city police traffic warden organisation in December 2020. He advises the public to be patient on the road and to have respect for other road users. He wants citizens to understand that everybody doesn’t own an equally fast vehicle with all those features, but respect on the road is very important. He adds that the main purpose of roads is to get from one place to another and not compete.
“Citizens of this country violate all the rules but the same people go to other countries and follow every rule because of the hefty fines,” Makhijaani says. Jayanth is a senior traffic warden, part of the administrative department. He is an IT professional and a consultant but restricts his work after joining the traffic warden organisation. He used to handle multiple business units in multinational companies as well as clients across the globe, but has now taken voluntary retirement to serve as a traffic warden. He worked as an IT professional for 28 years before joining the traffic warden organisation in 2016.
“I come from a different background but the
He is a deputy chief traffic warden, and has been in the service for 19 years. He mentions the increase of challenges faced by traffic wardens now, when compared to the past. “The traffic density has gone up, so has pollution, and dust. Not to mention the negative and unruly behaviour of road users. People get offended easily if we point out their mistakes and are rude to us because we are not actual police personnel. We sometimes get demotivated due to all this but we think about the lives that matter and neglect the vulgarity of a few,” says Rungta.
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