18 Nov 2017, Safety Quest 2017
We organized the first –ever Safety Quest on the eve of World Day of Remembrance 2017, to honour the victims and survivors of road accidents.
Yesterday’s event was the culmination of several months of groundwork. We had reached out to as many schools as we could, and also to our friends and colleagues. We were a little jittery about the turnout since the initial response was lukewarm. However, in the past 2 weeks, we saw the momentum pick up nicely. At the final count, we had 54 teams participating from 25 schools. Three teams from the Sri Manjunatha Vidya Samsthe came all the way from Malur. They took 3 hours to get to the venue!
We had over 170 people in the audience! We are truly amazed and humbled by the response.
Shubhangi kicked off the proceedings with the Welcome note. It is always difficult to share why we started The Arundhati Foundation. But we do want to give a face to the name, and let everyone know that the issue of safety is so real. Shubhangi also introduced our Guests of Honour – Mr. Venkitachalam ( Venki ) the ex-VP of Public Safety Mission at UL India, and Mr. Uday Vijayan who started Beyond Carlton in the memory of his son Akhil, a victim of the fire at Carlton Towers in 2010. They have been our mentors, our guides, and their presence at the function was a morale booster for us.
The preliminary round had 20 interesting questions – ranging from the local Bangalore Metro guides for the visually impaired and Badal Nanjudaswamy’s work to draw attention to potholes to the difficulty faced by Volvo in implementing software to recognize animals ( which is failing in Australia because of it is hard to track the sudden movements of Kangaroos ), to the challenges of transporting pistachios ( they can self combust ! ), to the no-selfie zones imposed by Mumbai police, and so on. The questions were in both English and Kannada so that we could reach a wider audience.
While we waited for the decision on the finalists, Venki engaged the students. “There is a science behind safety” he said as he got the students to think of the triangle of fire, and why acids are stored in bottles. “Safety is for life” he said. While the students favourite equations ( Einstein’s equation, Coloumb’s law, etc ) are important and interesting, not many would use these through their life. But the principles of safety, and safe behavior is required all the time. He also urged the students to teach others, and to take their share of responsibility in ensuring safety.
Six teams qualified for the finals. One team from NPS Koramangala with Abhiram Nitin and Ashray missed the qualification by a whisker. The Quiz masters decided to grant them a consolation prize.
The finals were played over 5 rounds. Again a bunch of interesting questions related to : Madam Curie’s notebook, the life-saving drones developed in Iran, the giant fire extinguisher developed in Hungary, the development of the oxygen mask, the impactful ad by Volkswagen to draw attention perils of texting when driving, the proposed national emergency phone number for India.
Quiz master Raghav kept everyone engaged by including several audience-questions.
The top 3 prize winners got Amazon kindles and cash prizes. The 4th, 5th and 6th place winners got Gift Coupons.
We are extremely thankful to all the parents and teachers who encouraged the students. Without their support, this would not have been possible. And thanks to the students themselves – their enthusiasm and engagement was outstanding. They are the real reason why we feel this event was a success.
Thanks to UL India and Beyond Carlton for giving us the support that allowed us to stage the event on this scale. A heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who worked shoulder to shoulder to make it a success. And a loud shout out to the team at Walnut Knowledge Solutions for the quality of their content, and for making it such an engaging session.
We chose the name “Safety Quest”. It symbolizes a search for safety, in pursuit of safety, a journey towards safety. We hope that we have been able to instill some values of safety in the students, to implant a seed. Going forward, everyday experiences will either weaken or strengthen these values. Our hope is that the values remain intact. Indeed, we urge the audience to demonstrate leadership in this regard. Whether at school, or at work, or at home, or in public places, you can continue to demonstrate a positive attitude towards safety. You can continue to demonstrate safe behavior.
Here are a few more pics :