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Namma Auto (awareness program for auto drivers)

Namma Auto is a community project to bring awareness to auto drivers about the traffic rules and regulations and road safety, this will be the first to create safe roads in Bangalore.

Garden city Bangalore has become the vehicle city with lot of vehicles plying in road more vehicles are being added to the roads which is causing a chaos in the road. Many commuters are violating the traffic rules, causing a lot of accidents and traffic jams. Because of this more lives have been hurt, nearly 20-30% of accidents are caused by not following traffic rules.

If this chaos of not following simple rules of traffic continues for another 5years, we will see nearly three fold increase in traffic jams and accidents. Government will have to spend more money towards taking care of accident victims, increase of road rage and will create an unhealthy environment. Bangalore might become a city of chaos and will lead in the list of accidents caused by road rage, people will be stressed.

There is an urgent need to address the violation of traffic rules, reduce the amount of traffic jams to nearly 40%, reduction in accidents caused by violation of traffic rules. This will eliminate the road rage, allows Government to work on more development activities, and most importantly reduces the stress of people and increases quality of life.

We as a community should start address this issue, since it is difficult to bring awareness to all community. I thought of starting from Auto drivers, which is one of the large community uses the road.

I have planned to arrange a continued traffic awareness program to Auto drivers, through the help of auto union and the community. This will be an opportunity for us to make a difference to this city and also to bring some order to our life.

If you are interested to participate or work with me in making this project a great success request you to contact me.

narayan82's picture

VeeraCS - its a very

VeeraCS - its a very commendable idea. I think the whole approach of "reduce" as opposed "Increase" is what we are in a dire need of. Right now the govt. is only increasing (Road Widht, busses, autos, cars....etc)...but what we really need is to "reduce" all these.

To me, Auto Drivers seem less forthcoming. I would hope I am wrong - but somehow its very rare to see a courteous and willing auto driver (I have experienced a few.) To me, changing this can change a lot in Bangalore. In fact, why not introduce "Share" autos - where if more than  one person wants to go to Say M G road - the auto driver can take 3 passengers instead of 1 - sharing the cost.

I've always wanted to do an experiment and I am still game. I would like to dawn the job of an Auto Rickshaw for 1 day ( 9 am to 9 PM) and hopefully I will be joined by others, so we can actually findout how much an Auto Driver spends/earns in one day. One wouldnt be sufficient we would require a team operating in different parts of the city to get a fair idea.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
javajee's picture

Namma - Auto - how to reduce pollution?

I always wanted to do something on Bangalore Autos. Traffic awareness is a very good idea. My biggest complain about autos is the noise and air pollution (besides other obviouos ones).

Please let me know how I can get involved. Here is my dream:
Auto customers should get air and noise pollution free ride and professional treatment, at the same time the drivers get a professional treatment. In short: get the damn silencer working, cover the 'em on both sides and treat 'em fair.

Where can I find details on autorikshaw regulations issued by dept of transport? Some day an entrepreneur will nail the problem like an young entrepreneur has done in Bihar:

asj's picture

Great initiative

Hi! Great initiative.

I suggest you browse

You can have a look at the 17 driver education videos available here + a FAQ that goes with it.

I am based in UK but you may arrange to a get a DVD with all 17 videos from a group working towards improving road safety in Pune. I will pass on more details if you wish, let me know. The DVD is sent out on a not-for-profit basis.

In Pune the DVD has been played in mute and used to train drivers of IT companies, including Wipro. An NGO in Punjab has picked up 40 DVDs (2 for each district). Recently an RTA officer has arranged to show the DVD in waiting room of the RTO in Hazira (what a unique but simple way forward). Pune bus transport drivers are also to be trained using the DVD (17 minutes out of 60 are translated to Marathi).

Good luck with your project.


kbsyed61's picture

Lets support this initiative!


 Very good initiative and I wish you and your team my best wishes. I call upon all the praja members to support this initiative how ever they can. I am sure even sponsoring for the cost of DVDs would also be a very good initiative.

 SB and others,

 Can we spend some focused efforts on this initiative? Like helping veeracs and his team to organize regular DVD shows and traffic regulation education at different parts of the city. Events should be like any professional event that we attend with snack/food and with a registration of all the participants. May be working with RTO's to have regular classes for educating all drivers. Also I think we need to get all the driving schools to make these shows mandatory in their instructions.

 I wish instead of spending time and praja resources on action-less discussions, we spend time and our resources on such action oriented initiatives like "Namma Auto", which would bring lot of good to the citizens and our city Bangalore.


veeracb's picture

Thanks for your support

Hi Every one, Thanks for all your response, Currently I am all alone in this project, i am looking for the support of this community to make it a great success. As we see if we start with one community we can continue to address all the other communities. At this point I have requested an appointment with one of the auto union leader, I will be speaking to him tomorrow or so, Will let you know the updates. And this will be an opportunity for all of us to make a difference to this city and to our life. Adhiraj : Request you to send out more details in regards to DVD, so that I can order the DVDs. Thanks and Regards Veera

I would like to join

I would like to pitch in. Please let me know how i can join. 
asj's picture

Details of How to get a copy of the Driver Education DVD

This link will provide all details.

If any one has difficulties, please do get in touch with me and I will do all I can to resolve the issue.

Please do look up the FAQ that goes with the DVD as it looks at number of myths like - Western roads are more disciplined because they have less population, less cars, these rules do not apply to India, these videos apply only to cars and not two wheelers.....all wrong dogmatic beliefs which need to be challenged by one and all.

Anyone dealaing with RTA/RTO - there is also a 170 question interactive road safety quiz designed with the idea that we start mandatory driving theory test. The test needs to be downloaded separately and works off-line.


Ravi_D's picture

Good initiative

I'd like to help anyway I can. Pls let us know more on your plans.

You should probably contact Swamy. He might be interested in a namma auto sene!


veeracb's picture

Working on the plan

Hi Thanks for all who have responded. mcadambi and Ravi, currently i am working on the plan. Will publish a detailed plan as per my understanding and we can go on modifying from there. As of now I have planned to have one training session to auto drivers by March 8th or March 15th , Sooner the better. Thanks again for all who have responded.
kbsyed61's picture

veeracb, Don't rush, Take your Time!


 keep up the good work. Wanted to add few suggestions. See if these fits into your plans.

  1. Do not rush for any deadline like March 14 etc. Take your time.
  2. Should be very thought out strategy
  3. Go thru the posts on Praja relating to traffic, driver education etc from contributors like ASJ, Murali Sir, SB, Narayan etc.
  4. Pls do plan to attend the Praja monthly meeting this Saturday. Good way to connect with real people behind Praja.
  5. Since the initiative is primarily geared towards Autorikshaws, do some background to pull some statistics like # of autos on roads, # of autos added on monthly basis, # of unions and their subscription numbers etc.
  6. Have the safe driving video copies ready
  7. Get some help in Kannada translation. Make this as a requirement.
  8. Also plan for meeting with Traffic Police officials like Praveen Sood, RTO incharge and some of the driving schools.
  9. Solicit their help in making the safe driving classes and education mandatory to obtain/renew license and driving on B'lore roads
  10. Solicit ideas and help to bring awareness among larger section of the driving public.

 I am sure at the end of this initiative, you would have known the autorikshaw driver/owner's community very well. They are one of the most vulnerable section of the society. If things goes well, you would not only be helping Bangalore's traffic, you would be helping this vulnerable section also.


s_yajaman's picture

Other aspects can also be covered

Excellent initiative!!!

A couple of other things can be covered

a. Health aspects - auto drivers are most vulnerable to noise and air pollution (caused by their brethren quite often).  I can ask my father (a doctor) to talk to them on the effects of noise and air pollution on their hearing and blood pressure, etc.  he has done a few sessions with BMTC drivers. 

b. If there are enough of them - maybe have someone from LIC or GIC to offer a group medical insurance to auto drivers who register for this.  Is this workable?

c. Safe driving should be very obvious to someone whose life and livelihood depends on it.  Maybe we need to talk to them about some of the not so pleasant statistics of accidents in India, etc. 

My two paise.



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

veeracb's picture

Thanks for the suggestion

Hi Syed, Thanks for your suggestion, as part of my training which I am going through currently, I have to finish one training by March 15th. It will be a pilot run after the training we can take feedback from the drivers we can fine tune our training. I really appreciate your concern about taking this initiative to all levels. These are my future plans. 1)Produce the video in vernacular language and use local drivers with the feedback. 2)Use the feedback from auto drivers, take it to the traffic police and RTO department. 3)As u said take this to other driver community for the awareness. Let me know your thoughts. Regards Veera
veeracb's picture

Thanks Srivathsa

Srivathsa, I have spoken to one union they are giving the group insurance policies already, The point you mentioned about the health aspects, thats a great thing to add as part of the training (May be for a hour or so). I am ordering the training DVDs today. Thanks for your support. Veera
kbsyed61's picture

Need help with Kannada Translation !


 Time for some action to further the cause of Karnataka and Kannada. Our friend Veerabasiah is looking for help with Kannada translation and audio recording of the same to go with the Dr. ASJs safe driving videos.

 Interested members are requested to contact veeracb for further deatails and co-ordination.


murali772's picture

useful info

There's an organisation called "Loss Prevention Association of India", promoted by the insurance companies. They have published excellent books/ videos/ posters in English and many Indian languages. You may try contacting them, either directly, or through corporates who may be members.

Personally, I would like to see the autos, atleast in the inner city, replaced by 4-wheel taxi's (say NANO's), like in South Mumbai. The debate on the subject may be accessed at

Another interesting blog, in this regard, would be -

A good resource person with regard to health aspects would be Ms Sunita M de Sousa, Ph.D., Associate Director, Biochemistry, AstraZeneca India Pvt Ltd, Hebbal, Bangalore 560020, Tel: +91-80-2362 1212 ext 131

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

Great going

Late to comment here, but veera, great going. Take the lead, one concrete step, and you will see people join you. Look forward to your detailed plan. Once it is ready, lets go meet RTO and/or traffic police for their support for your initiative.

About driver education, I recall reading that AASI was planning to setup a driver training school in Bangalore ( Will be good to check if this is ready. If yes, can work to arrange training for auto drivers in batches.

I had also heard about some driver training software in use (by BMTC?). Will be good to check on those for any possible reuse for your project. BMTC has a driver training center, perhaps, if we approach, they may be game to let use reuse that for this initiative.

Personally, I think e as in enforcement is the bigger need that this e (education). An auto driver pushes the limits as much as he can without getting into accidents or challans. We too do the same, but don't push as hard as auto/cab drivers because they literally drive for a living and we don't.

But I do want to join in to see how the auto unions respond to this, and if my theories about this e not being as important are incorrect. Eagerly awaiting your next steps. Come, lead and show us the way here!

silkboard's picture

asj - about the videos

Slightly offtopic comment here, sorry. But ASJ - what was the method you used to shoot your videos? How much time and resources did it take? I am curious because could it be that instead of trying to translate, we can redo them here in Indian settings with not much more effort? One car, one bike, one weekend, and one good digital camera is all it may take. Think of it, it could be a fun Praja event as well. We can publicize this thing, shooting these videos could be an educative and awarensss-spreading event in itself. Can invite Traffic police bosses themselves to star in the videos. Or can ask film stars (I heard Upendra is a very civic minded person), or cricketers (Anil Kumble is a retired man now), or a public figure.


trimurthi's picture

Engine oil - do they know what fumes out?

Murali avare,
In your post, [[|autos-good-bad-or-ugly]], there is a passing mention "The smoke is because they put excess oil to prolong engine life. Next time just notice how many autos have no visible exhaust gases at all - this is how it should be."

I'm so glad this was pointed out, but sadly there was dicussion around other things. Often, the amount of pollution caused by 2-stroke auto's in Bangalore goes unnoticed. The cloud of white smoke that bells out seems devilish. I'm surprised that people don't raise their voice against it. As these auto's continue to pollute, children breathe 23 times more heavily than adults are at grave risk. There are also numerous eco-friendly cyclists and pedestrians who breathe heavily as these auto's go past, often unaware of the effects.

I guess there would be research pointing out what this smoke consists of - ppm of hydrocarbons, additives (heavy metals? lead? I don't know) that kills people slowly.

I hope this awareness campaign touches this topic once, where the auto drivers are given the chemical composition of such smoke and its effects on children (and adults too).

While people travelling inside the auto are not impacted by the exhaust, someone should protest and solve this neglected problem.
asj's picture

Story of the videos

Hi! The videos were filmed over 6 months or so. I spent more time planning than implementing (70:30 split), otherway round would have taken much longer. Time was biggest resource, followed by resolve to overcome doubts in my head shared by people around me - that this will get us (Indians) no where. The videos needed going to different locations on multiple occasions at times to get the right amount of footage. Majority work was done on weekends for lack of time and reduced road users - pedestrians can cut of vital bits of what seems to be a nice clip (very frustrating, but I learnt to live with it). I have about 5 hours footage which needed to be edited down to 1 hour. Animations was a challenge and eventually I used frame by frame method (create frame after frame with subtle change in each and render it at 25 frames a sec as a AVI file). Next came audio commentry which replaced road noise. The DVD came up as a demand from people and now is a semi-professional job with a menu.

There are reasons for filiming in London, UK -
  1. Drive on left like us
  2. Rules are exactly same (true with most countries signed up to international conventions)
  3. The videos are real-time, non-simulated and show how an average driver gets it right (function of training).
  4. I did not film in India even when I was there during 06-07 because we already know through daily experience the chaos on our roads. The philosophy behind the project was influenced by my career choice - as a psychiatrist I would get people to think differently by introducing alternative role models to something they are habitually using - hence almost all of the 1 hour is spent show casing  ''the correct way'' rather than focus on the ''wrong way'' (we have hundreds if not thousands of videos mocking Indian driving on youtube). I had tried being critical and cynical of our situation, it did not work and had to do what I do best in professional life.
Making more videos is worth a shot. The objective needs to be clear (you will not get many places in India with drivers doing the right thing, unless you simulate - this introduces artificiality, while non-simulated videos introduce an argument that when another human can follow rules, we can too).

I am planning more filming but there are some things I can't do which Praja members can do. Interviews with people you mention above is a nice idea (need to work on themes of messages). Other idea, which I personally was not keen on, but have always said people may work on if they wish to is - filming chaos on our roads which is the very opposite of the themes of the different videos and do workshops where one can demonstrate the difference between disciplined V indisciplined traffic.

We thus far have significantly lower number of vehicles in our cities but are in an eternal state of chaos. The reason why we never do more than 10kph on some roads is to do with the complete lack of insight about ROW rules at junctions without signals - how to merge with or leave a main road  wrt a side lane - no one has a clue - everyone is slowly inching around each other (some junctions have too much traffic and are without signals). Just educating people in this regard can make a massive difference, add a spice of Gandhigiri and we may double our speeds.

That is the story behind the story of videos.

But more the merrier.


PS: I had no previous experience of using a handycam or video editing (certainly not when it came to animation) - when I can, any one can.
kbsyed61's picture

Any update on meeting Auto Union?


 Any update on your efforts to meet the auto union leader(s)? Also did anybody contacted you for the help with Kannada Translation?




veeracb's picture

Updates :)

This comment has been moved here.
kbsyed61's picture

Help is coming!

This comment has been moved here.
rohith's picture

Namma Auto - An Update

Hello All.
There was a project we'd envisioned a while ago - when Veerabasaiah (veeracb ID) started off a topic here about moulding some useful video content (from UK, and in English) to fit requirements of Auto driver community here in Bangalore. So there were some comments people posted about this, and finally we could procure the content that we need to work upon.

As discussed in the recent Praja meeting, we (I & veeracb; apparently Syed also) work's going on in this regard, as planned. Veera has procured the relevant video content, and also the transcript of the English content. Now the update follows:

  1. Translation of this text to Kannada is underway - nearly complete. I have been able to interact with a few people in Kannada Prasaara Parishat - a body that is engaged in arranging Kannada classes at multiple locations, for a wide spectrum of people across the state, and thus seems to be perfect to perform this translation task accurately, and in the best possible language.
  2. I have also been able to liaison with the same team to identify volunteers for generating the voice background for the Kannada version of this video.
  3. Utterances of this Kannada text has yet to be recorded, and when that is done, it'll have to be merged with the Video, matching on time-scale with the sounds of the original English speaker. Before this, the English audio must of course be streamed out (stripped) of the original video. All this need some Audio Engineering expert help.

So this post is to invite candidates with skills matching with the requirements stated in point #3 above. Basically we'd need someone who can handle Video files that we've received, strip English audio content from them, merge the Kannada audio content in exact time-locations, and also super-impose any English text in the video with their Kannada counterparts. This would probably call for experience with processing digital audio/video content, and merging PowerPoint/Keynote slides into the video file.

Interested or otherwise, do post remarks here. Interested to help, may please reach out on this very thread.


Rohith Rao


kbsyed61's picture

Autorickshaw drivers as cultural ambassadors?

 "..With a belief that the impact of their professional behaviour with the city’s guests would go a long way in making the city an even more popular destination, Think Without Ink Foundation (TWI), which promotes critical thinking, is organising a training programme for autorickshaw drivers at the Regional Transport Office in Jayanagar on Wednesday . Organised under the auspices of “Capacity Building for Service Providers”, a scheme initiated by the Union Ministry of Tourism, the training programme has been designed to be “highly interactive and effective through simple slides”.

For details read @

 A nice out of box thinking. Veera, Rohit, see if you could co-ordinate these guys?

veeracb's picture

Nice thinking

Thanks for the information, I got busy with my work couldn't do much about it. I shall speak with Rohit and see if we can speak with TWI to include their program with our training which will cover everything related to the awareness.
rohith's picture

more updates

Hi All.. 
More updates from our side.

Translation of English transcripts into Kannada is Done.
I wish to thank my friend's wife - who is a student of arts - for this effort. She's done a decently good job at this, and continues to help us further as well.

And right now, this document is being reviewed by one of the senior & renowned spoken-Kannada language teachers of Bangalore. There are some changes we may have to make after this review. This is taking some of our time right now.
Thanks to our network with these Kannada language experts, we have good language guidance available in this project.

The goal is we should be having the final reviewed document with us, in 10 days from now.
And then we're planning to rehearse reading these sentences in front of a basic recorder and timing (and pruning) our sentences.

Anyone game to join this project at this stage? We may need a few AV engineers to handle the software that we'll be using to render both audio and the video together into a new movie.

Rohith Rao


Rohith Rao


rohith's picture

One example..

I thought I'd share a couple of lines from the translation document, just to give an idea to people who can read Kannada:

4. Further while the driver with his head facing front enjoys a good view of what lies ahead, the rear view mirror along with the right and left wing mirrors make it possible to see almost all of 360 degrees.  
೪. ಮತ್ತೆ, ಚಾಲಕ ಮುಂದೆ ಮುಖವಾಗಿರುವಾಗ ತನ್ನ ಮುಂದೆ ಇರುವ ಎಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿಯೇ ನೋಡಿದರೂ, ಇದರ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಎಡ-ಬಲ ಇರುವ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗಳನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿಯೇ ಸುತ್ತಲಿನ ಸುಮಾರು 360 ಡಿಗ್ರೀಗಳ ನೋಟವನ್ನ ನೋಡಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗತ್ತೆ

5. I say almost because there are places called blind spots that normally a driver would not be able to see.  
೫. ನಾನು ಸುಮಾರು ಅಂತ ಹೇಳುವುದೇಕೆಂದರೆ, ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಚಾಲಕನಿಗೆ ಕಾಣದಂತಹ ಕೆಲವು ಕುರುಡು-ಪಟ್ಟಿಗಳು ಇವೆ.

Rohith Rao


Rohith Rao


Journalist's picture



Please send your contact information to us so we can interact on the NAMMA AUTO awareness campaign for our newspaper.



this is my mail id

deepak_kumar's picture

Namma Auto (awareness program for auto drivers)

Hi Veeracb,

  Namma Auto, awareness is a good and a unique initiative. I would like to know more about it. Can I get your contact details.

  My email id is

  Please do write your contact info and I will get in touch with you.

Thank you.

kakulukia's picture

hello, I am a student of

hello, I am a student of bethany high school and have been asked to compile an eve project on the pollution caused by commercial transport in Bangalore.I would like to know some details about the auto awareness program. **More specifically on the steps that may now be taken in order to reduce pollution caused due to Buses and Autos. I would need this information immediately.I must compile it today. I apologise for this abrupt request. Thank you very much for your time.

My email adress in

Please revert to me as soon as possible.

murali772's picture

welcome Rahul

We are extremely happy to find school students coming on to PRAJA.

I suggest you read, and

Muralidhar Rao


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