AutoLife – Respecting Human Life

Human life is sacred and valuable. Far too many people lose their lives or get injured on the Indian roads. In 2010, India overtook China in terms of traffic fatalities. Every hour, nearly 19 people die on Indian roads. Our country also enjoys the dubious distinction of occupying the leading position in terms of the number of victims related to traffic accidents. This is despite the low motor vehicle penetration in India compared to worldwide standards. 

The Trouble

India is an aspirational country which is trying to improve its shaky infrastructure and its traffic safety record. Several problems such as terrible roads, drinking and driving, ignorance of traffic rules, etc. plague the roads in the country. The need of the hour is for everyone to come together and play their part in improving our country’s traffic safety. The toll that traffic accidents extract is all too frightening and costly.

‘AutoLife’ – A Small Step Towards The Solution

Recognising this, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. (a joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal & General) has undertaken a CSR initiative, ‘AutoLife’. ‘AutoLife’ is an initiative that endorses healthy on road practices. It strives to inculcate good behaviour among drivers so that more people drive safely. Positive reinforcement from peers and interaction will ensure that members keep each other motivated towards safety at all times. This social responsibility project is an on-going initiative. With over 100 automobile dealers across the country already pitching in for the cause of safer roads and with the commitment of approximately 15,000 members, ‘AutoLife’ is getting geared towards the future.

The 2nd phase of AutoLife initiative of IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co., which is being supported by FADA, was launched on Jan. 12, 2013 at Hotel Taj Krishna, Hyderabad.

Dr P Nandagopal, Managing Director & CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, in the presence of B Venkateswarlu, Joint Transport Commissioner (Enforcement & Road Safety), Government of AP, made the announcement. 

Mohan Himatsingka, President, FADA; K V S Prakash Rao, Vice President, FADA; and large number of automobile dealers from Hyderabad and across the country also graced the event.

Dr. Nandagopal shared, “Being in the business of life makes us all the more aware about how precious life is.  With stress levels increasing by the day, the patience levels amongst motorists have been decreasing at an alarming rate. 30% of poverty is curable if all the people are insured.” 

Life insurance itself being a CSR activity, aims at mitigating pain in case of unfortunate, untimely death and disablement,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohan Himatsingka said, “We, in FADA, do realise that no business can grow in a vacuum.  For sustainable growth and development of any business, it is imperative that the business enjoys the goodwill and support of the society at large.  This equally applies to the retail automobile trade business. Clean environment and safe roads are pre-requisite for the sustained growth of the auto market in India. It is, therefore, important that automobile dealers work in partnership with other stakeholders to promote the twin objective of clean environment and safe motoring. FADA, would like to assure all  stakeholders present here that automobile dealer fraternity stands committed to the promotion of clean environment and road safety.  That is precisely the reason that FADA has committed its support to the AutoLife.”

The initiative ‘AutoLife’ will encourage a safe driving culture. It will try to improve good driving manners among road users such as avoiding the use of high beams, horns and unlawful overtaking. ‘AutoLife’ aims to be a way of life, bringing together like-minded people who believe in safe and responsible driving. The aim of AutoLife will be to generate awareness about safe driving and making drivers realise that being enthusiastic about their vehicles is not enough, more needs to be done towards safety as well.  

‘AutoLife’ is being launched in 3 phases. In the ongoing Phase 1, auto dealers have been included in the initiative. Phase II involves developing an online community consisting of ‘AutoLife’ members through an exclusive ‘AutoLife’ microsite. This microsite will help members meet, interact, exchange ideas and organise safe driving initiatives. Phase III will include co-operating with the Regional Transport Office’s (RTOs) and setting up interactions between ‘AutoLife’ members and the RTOs in various fields, which are critical to road safety. Emphasis would be laid on localisation so that members can focus on issues that affect their towns and cities. This active project would be initiated and executed by ‘AutoLife members’ and overseen by the various RTOs. 

Concluding Remarks

As per the National Crime Records Bureau, 2.2 per cent more deaths were recorded in 2011 due to road accidents than in 2010. Equally worrying is the assertion by the World Health Organisation that predicts that road accidents will become India’s third biggest killer by 2020. Road safety cannot be achieved overnight. It is a long-term process that requires dedication and perseverance. However, the benefits of safe driving are well worth the efforts. The innumerable precious human lives that could be saved will be a motivating force for ‘AutoLife’ members. After all, respect for human life is a fundamental right that brings us all together.


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