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Drivers Day 2016 @Ashok Leyland Hosur

by Raghuram

Posted on Feb 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

February 12, 2016: It was a bright sunny morning. Ashok Leyland unit 2 at Hosur wore a festive look. Banners galore announcing the festival. Festival of a new kind. Drivers Day Celebrations.

The event was sponsored by Ashok Leyland in collaboration with their transporters Mercurio Pallia, Johal Logistics, OSL, IVC, Dayal Logistics and DBRC.

It was slated to start by 10am but right from 8 in the morning a steady stream of drivers started pouring in. They were the invitees for whom the occasion was meant. All of them belonged to the Transporters of Ashok Leyland. Some proudly in their uniforms and yet others in their bright dresses. Enthusiasm writ large on their bright faces. Since it was inside the premises naturally security check was a precondition. Passes were given to each and every driver, members of the organizing group and of course all the officials and transport owners.

Driver Day - Ashok Leyand

Before entering the grand conference hall, the main venue of the festivities, a Reception cum Registration counter received the guests. Atmosphere was quite informal.

Simultaneously there were health check- up under a tent on the other side of the hall. It was conducted by Pixel Health, Canada, an associate company of TM. Entry to avoid crowding at the facility was well regulated. The best part of the health check-ups of various parameters was that the results were given by the end of the day on their mobiles/mails. The entire medical team worked with a missionary zeal throughout the day.

The grand hall started filling up fast. Drivers in their groups laughing and joking and awaiting for the beginning of the proceedings. At a rough estimate there was around 900+ strong audience.

Most of them were from Bihar, Jharkhand and UP. A greeting from the podium ‘namaskar’ was greeted with a roaring reply. The interactive dialogues between the MC and the guests went on a cheerful note and the full attention of them was now focused on the event.

Enter the special guests- officials from the sponsors, to a floral welcome and impromptu clapping. Mr. Rajat Gupta, General Manager, Mr. Girish Janrdhan, General Manager, and Mr. Gaurav Mohapaatra, Head Logistics all from Ashok Leyland took the dias. Others on dias were Mr.Vipul Nanda of Mercurio Pallia, Mr. Jaiveer Johal of Johal Logistics, Mr. Manoj Goyal of OSL,Mr. Deepankar from IVC, Mr. Sukh Dayal of Dayal Logistics and Mr. Jugal Baweja from DBRC. Alongside them were Mr. DC Selvan of TransportMitra and Mr. Ramesh Kumar from KRK Foundation.

The main program started with a prayer specially written for the highway drivers. Each and every person in the audience and so also all the guests on the stage participated in it with reverence.

Mr. Gourav Mohapaatra drew a picture of highway accidents, causes and demographical spread of it with the help of charts and graphs. He emphasized the greater need of safety on the roads in view of high number of fatalities. The point of safety for the drivers themselves and the co commuters was well driven into the minds of the audience.

Mr. Rajat and Mr. Girish in their short and relevant speeches drew the attention of all on the various aspects of Transport Industry as a whole.

It was indeed a thought out move by Ashok Leyland to honor the Transporters by awarding them based on various categories of achievements in presence of their own drivers. Next in line to receive the awards for Best Drivers on a pre-evaluated set standards were the chosen 20 amongst the drivers. Most touching moment was the presentation of a compensation cheque to the wife of a deceased driver who lost his life while on duty. Kudos to Ashok Leyland for their thoughtful gesture. It will surely an example for others to follow the suit. The hall was reverberating with a thunderous applaud.

Transport owners in a sweet and short speech advised the audience on their lifestyle, safety and the importance of health. All the speeches from the stage were in Hindi without any exception which was very much appreciated by the drivers and others present. Mr. Ramesh Kumar, founder of KRK Foundations was the next speaker. In his own free and frank style acquainted the audience on the relevance of drivers in today’s society.

A small tea break and the next session of Yoga under the supervision of Yoga guru Durgesh Rawal was conducted. Not only the drivers present participated actively but also there were a few drivers who were themselves expert yoga practitioners in their own way. They were encouraged to demonstrate from the stage which was very much liked by the audience and a pat on the back by the yoga guru.

Mr. Nagesh and Mr. Bala of Pixel Health later explained the importance of the medical tests and its relevance in their health guard.

No learning can be successful on empty stomachs.

Lunch break was announced.

Once again, hats off to Ashok Leyland who threw open their corporate canteens for the drivers and others alike. Same menu, same atmosphere and same respectful treatment to one and all. What better way of sending the message of equality.

Post lunch the event was a quiz competition. Drivers were divided in different groups. Each group was given a name after Ashok Leyland trucks. The topic was Highway Signs. Our quiz master Mr. Venugopal who himself was a highway driver for over 23 years conducted the program with much aplomb. The healthy competition amongst the groups and the enthusiastic participation was worth watching. The main concept of introducing such a competition was to educate the highway drivers on the most important factor of safety, the Road Signs.

The driver community is most of the time engaged in physical activity and there is little opportunity to put on their thinking caps. Next part was to give them an occasion to wear their thinking caps for the Brain Storming session. All the groups were given the topic of ‘Problems on the Highways and Solutions’. Each group was led by their supervisor and a volunteer as a catalyst. Most of them got engrossed in heated debates within their groups. Finally one spokesman from each group was given an opportunity to present the ideas of their group. Who says they don’t use their brain power. There was unanimity about the list of problems and varied solutions.

Next a tea break.

Drivers assembled on the sports ground. Same groups were maintained. Tug of war, netting a ball into the basketball ring. Pole climbing with a rope. These events were a total sell off. The energy levels were unprecedented. Wins were greeted with sky reaching exhilarating screams.

The idea of taking off the inbuilt stress was fulfilled by conducting the games. Add to it, there were a few swings (jhulas) to regulate their mood swings.

Back to the venue hall.

The MC coaxed them to exhibit their talent in singing, dancing, mimicking and shayari. The initial hesitation was cut by a Bhojpuri parody of a song from the stage. There was a queue of performers. The confidence levels exhibited by the participants irrespective of their expertise would have put a professional to shame. Lo and behold, the audience grabbed it with both hands. After all their own brethren were performing on the stage. Thunderous applauds were a testimony of their enjoyment.

Calm down boys!

Smart Driver capsule of TransportMitra, the next item in the agenda, got an instant emotional connect. Nodding heads and rapt attention was a proof in itself that the message was sinking in.

Distribution of gift hampers and soft pillows donated by Johal Logistics to all the drivers by Mr. Selvan of TM and Mr. Ramesh Kumar of KRK Foundation was the concluding part of the festival.

The program got wrapped up by a vote of thanks and national anthem.

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