Imphal: Manipur youth Songashim Rungsung, who won the ‘Rubaru Mr India-United Continents’ title earlier this year, has started a campaign to rid Indian roads of potholes and make them safer for motorists.
Being a ‘victim’ of potholes himself and having experienced the perils of potholes first-hand, Songashim on Tuesday uploaded a video on his Facebook page to create awareness on the menace. Through his campaign and hashtags like #FixThePotholes #ourlivesmatter and #savelives, he aims to alert the government officials concerned to fix the potholes on roads.
“I know how scary it is to have gone through this. I would like to tell motorists to be careful with potholes,” Songashim said on his Facebook post.
Sharing his backbreaking commuting experience, Songashim, a Bengaluru-based freelance model, said: “Earlier in March, while I was on my way to meet a client in the city, I suddenly fell off from my two-wheeler vehicle due to some potholes on the road. The accident left me with a dislocated left arm.”
Despite the injuries, Songashim feels fortunate to be alive unlike thousands of commuters in the country who lose their lives due to bad road conditions every day.
“It’s time to do something about it,” he added.
The youth hailing from Ukhrul district in Manipur has urged the government to look after the road conditions in the country, especially the potholes on roads taken by motorists on a regular basis.
According to him, each year, at least 3,500 people are killed due to potholes in the country. As per data given by the Union ministry of road, transport and highways, over 9,000 people have died and 25,000 injuries reported due to potholes in the last three years, he said.
“I feel that the government is not taking the countless deaths and injuries caused by potholes on roads seriously enough. I would really appreciate it if the government did the needful and addressed this common road safety issue across the country,” he added.
Songashim also urged the people to help his campaign reach out to the authorities concerned, so that they can consider the perennial problem of potholes as one of their own.
In April, Songashim bagged the Rubaru Mr India-United Continents title at the Rubaru Mr India 2020-2021 pageant held in Goa.
Rubaru Mr India is the country’s biggest annual pageant for men.
A resident of Talui village in UKhrul district and belonging to the Tangkhul Naga community, Songashim, 25, will now represent India at the Mr United Continents event which will be held later this year.