“I congratulate the auto drivers for their successful training programme. You are indeed doing a service to the society which often the society fails to recognize”, said Dr. K D Prasad, Regional Director (RC 2) of Indira Gandhi National Open University at the certificate distribution programme for the Champaran auto drivers as part of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program of the Pradhanmantri Skill Development Mission for 9th to 15th Batch. Certificates were distributed by Dr. B Mishra, Dr. K D Prasad, Shri S A Jamal, Smt. Geeta Shukla, Shri Prasun Latant, Shri Atul Prabhakar and Shri Harpal.
Speaking to about 100 auto drivers who had undertaken the training, Dr. Prasad stressed on the concept of “Driver Friend” and urged that drivers need to be sensitive towards passengers. Calling their service as ‘dignity of work’, he asked them to reform themselves and help build an atmosphere of trust.
On being informed by Shri Viswash Gautam, Life Skill Trainer about the pledge taken by the auto drivers that they have resolved to give 2% rebate of actual fare to passengers who are unwell and those who are differently abled, Dr. Prasad stressed that such information must be sent to other departments such as transport, licensing, Ministry of Culture and documentation of such activities must be done on priority.
Sharing his perspective, Shri S A Jamal hoped that the training will help them in getting loans, etc and also help in making a better future for their children. He also asked them to help the customers and serve them with a smile.
Smt. Geeta Shukla who was present on the occasion referred to Ms. Melba Pria, Mexican Ambassador to India who has made auto as her official vehicle. She congratulated Viswas for his efforts in bringing people from Champaran to Gandhi Darshan and for introducing them to Gandhiji's message and philosophy. “Please do not say ‘No’ to passengers when they come to you. You never know what urgency they might have”, she appealed.
Shri Vishwas in his reflections said that because of this programme, they have been able to help the family members of the auto drivers in getting admission for their children. Even some of the auto drivers have voluntarily donated blood to patients in different hospitals.
He also informed that on four special days of the year – August 15, October 2, January 26 and January 30, every year, the auto drivers from Champaran have resolved to render free service during the day for a particular period of time. He also informed that each of the auto drivers has further pledged to undertake cleanliness drive (swachhatta abhiyaan) every week in their respective (auto) stands.