Mumbai-based non-banking finance company (NBFC) Magma Fincorp Ltd, along with Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA), has announced the completion of the first phase of Highway Heroes, a CSR programme where they have trained 1 lakh truck drivers. The programme was initiated in 2015 with the specific goals of reducing environment pollution, increasing fuel efficiency and profitability of the truckers’ community, and imparting safe driving skills. In the first phase, permanent porta cabins and e-toilets have been installed in eight high-traffic transport nagars across the country. The porta cabins are being used to hold workshops for drivers on improving driving habits for better mileage and fuel conservation and their regular medical checkup and posture correction. Over 60,000 drivers are said to have benefitted directly through the medical camps conducted in these porta cabins.

As per an official release received by CauseBecause, the workshops conducted jointly by Magma and PCRA for truckers have made significant social, economic and environment impact. The following numbers have been claimed for the programme:

  • Fuel saved: 2 crore litres approximately
  • Reduction in CO2 emission: 6 crore kg approximately
  • Certified number of drivers as on 31 July 2017: 100,699
  • Clean sanitation drive has benefitted: 500,000 people
  • Total number of active centres: 160

Magma and PCRA aim to take this initiative to more transport nagars and train another 1.5 lakh drivers in the next 3 years.

Alok Tripathi, executive director, PCRA, said: ‘Since its inception, PCRA has engaged in promoting fuel conservation and its efficient utilisation in major sectors of economy, namely agriculture, transport, domestic, industry and commercial. It helps the government in proposing policies and strategies for petroleum conservation, aimed at reducing excessive dependence of the county on oil requirement. Over the years, PCRA has enlarged its role in improving productivity in use of various sources of energy, for the purpose of achieving environment protection and sustainable development. As far as transport sector is concerned there is a saving potential of about 20 per cent in this sector.’

India has approximately two million drivers of medium and heavy trucks. On an average, a driver drives about 10,000–12,000 kilometres per month, becoming vulnerable to eyesight issues, unhealthy eating habits, posture problems, common ailments of cough and cold due to fatigue, and the danger of HIV. Poor highway safety conditions anyway make them most vulnerable to accidents. In India, drivers’ fault accounts for 78.5 per cent (381,648 accidents) of total accidents, and more than 30 per cent of the total road accident deaths annually are associated with trucks.