By Radhacaran das
Today marks 7 years to the day since my spiritual master, HH Tamal Krishna Goswami and Vrindavanisvari Mataji passed away in fatal car crash on the way to the Calcutta airport. My godbrother Aghabit prabhu was also badly injured in that crash.
Today I have a godsister and a friend at the Calcutta hospital after nearly losing their lives in a similar car crash.
How many more precious lives are we going to sacrifice to a stupidly managed taxi run. I call very loud and clear and I beg for the Mayapur and Vrindavan Management, for the devotees worldwide and for all the taxi drivers, private car drivers traveling at all hours of the day and night, both between Delhi and Vrindavan and Calcutta and Mayapur, TO WAKE UP and DO SOMETHING.
I know it’s India and India in some areas seems unmanageable (if not everywhere), but measures can be taken to prevent or reduce risks of accidents. The Mayapur and Vrindavan Managements should discuss those measures and put them into place immediately. GBCs should get involved too. Some of the things that can be implemented are:
1) All taxi drivers taking devotees to be thoroughly checked for hours of sleep.
2) No taxis to leave the dham at night or early hours of the morning.
3) Devotees to be asked to reconsider not rushing to catch flights or trains and stay overnight before catching a cab.
4) Car drivers’ driving history thoroughly checked. Many don’t even have a license and no car insurance.
5) Allowed only one run per day.
6) Car insurance
7) Seat belts
8) Devotees’ private insurance
9) Selection of drivers who work to and from Mayapur and Vrindavan
10) Think of going by train. What is the rush?
11) Educating and informing devotees who use private taxis and drivers about the dangers of sitting in a car driven by unqualified drivers.
Given the fact that accidents may not always be caused by the driver but by the insane Indian road traffic, even more emphasis should be placed on the drivers.
Syamasundar prabhu and his wife nearly lost their lives 2 years ago and others fell victim of the same fatality after them and more recently on the same roads. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Cars in India nowadays drive faster, but drivers are as good as rikshaw wallas and those new cars don’t run on western freeways, they run on badly maintain medieval roads in the midst of mad traffic. Why do we think that we are immune? It could happen to anyone, any day.
It is time ISKCON Mayapur and Vrindavan take very strong measures, as far as they possibly can to prevent those horrific accidents to occur. That IS a responsibility to take for Srila Prabhupada.
Let’s open the discussion and stir up ideas and recommendation and ACT NOW before someone else ends up in ICU.
your servant Radhacaran