The Indian trucking industry has around 5.6 million vehicles on the road and needs around 700,000-800,000 new truck drivers every year, reveals a survey conducted by the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (Delhi). An estimated 80% of the freight in India moves on road rather than rail, with trucks doing most of the carriage. Unfortunately, India tops the chart in road accidents leaving behind all countries. Data compiled by NCRB shows that about 1,39,000 people die in road accidents every year, out of which 26,678 people die due to sleep deprivation. This occurs as drowsy driving is still an elusive highway dilemma for the truck drivers during transit. According to a sample survey of drivers conducted by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in 2013, about 29% drivers were found suffering from sleep disorder. Also about 20% accidents across the globe occur due to 'driver fatigue'.
In the year 2006, Mr. Ramesh Agarwal and Mr. Rajender Agarwal, of Agarwal Packers & Movers Ltd [ ].(APML), felt that in order to drive the nation's economy towards a positive end, constantly and consistently, drivers were the key drivers of economy and a survey was conducted, the revelations of which were very shocking and alarming.
Year No. of the drivers available/per 1000 vehicles
1982 1310
1992 1000
2002 890
2012 750 In 2022, it will be at an astounding 480 drivers per 1000 trucks.

For a man who had the transportation business at the heart of his venture, this seemed like an unbelievably wretched and disturbing situation. For next few months, Ramesh Agarwal's thoughts only focused on how he could revive this class and re-establish its identity in the society, so that their work is acknowledged by all. When he became the National President of All India Transporter's Welfare Association (AITWA) in 2007, it was then that he pledged to work towards for the upliftment of the drivers.
"It was a very appalling issue that the driver who is responsible for the major section of transportation was treated so shabbily and with disrespect, despite being on road in the direst situations and having no relief at all since he has to 'deliver'. At times while driving, the situation for drivers is so pathetic that one cannot leave a truck unattended even for a minute, even to attend nature's call. But what rankles above all is the treatment meted out to truck drivers by policemen," said Rajender Agarwal, who has himself travelled in the trucks to gauge the issues related to the trucking industry.

The following statistics speak of the lives and pathetic conditions of poor drivers who are available in all terrains, be it any season or weather:- - Drivers cannot have uninterrupted sleep for more than 2:40 hours/day - Drivers die at least 10 years before the normal human life span. - About 22% of the drivers remain unmarried throughout their life. - 26% of the total trucks viz. approximately 23 lakh vehicles remain halted every day due to unavailability of truck drivers.

Realizing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards the drivers community, Mr. Ramesh Agarwal, Chairman - Agarwal Movers Group, has set the prototype by establishing the 1st "Driver Seva Kendra [ ]" of the country, situated at the Jaipur - Kishangarh highway (NH-8), which is built on a sprawling 50 acres plot, and has a building with over 500 cots and fans for the drivers to have an uninterrupted rest. Allied facilities include barbers, large bathrooms and toilets, arrangement for parking vehicles. All these facilities are provided free of cost. The motels/dhabas that function here provide good and hygienic food at zero profit. Also available is a small retail shop where there are commodities available for daily needs at very reasonable rates.

A small 'truck repair centre' is also available where drivers can have their vehicle repaired whenever required at nominal charges. It's a place where they feel at home. The drivers come here to sleep and refresh themselves. These elementary essentials at present are being used by 450-500 truck drivers each day, numbering to 15,000 trucks a month. If we analyse the ratio, then the results are overwhelming as this single Driver Seva Kendra has been able to save 41 lives each month through a simple concept of "Nidra Daan".
In his recent communication, Shri Ramesh Agarwal said, "We are trying to make this profession more dignified so that drivers may get their due place in society. It's a great challenge and we all must work at the ground level to alleviate their tattered souls. Not only has the Kendra preserved the ease of making them feel at home, but, also provides all the facilities necessary to make the drivers' job easier." He further added: "Only when the drivers have a respectable life and they get all mandated benefits, more people will join the profession. Any policy framed or initiatives undertaken will take some time to be implemented and reap the benefits, so we really need to gear up fast." About APML Over the last 27 years, Agarwal Packers & Movers Ltd has become a company of national and international repute and has enormous credentials to its name including the highest accolade being acknowledged in the Limca Book of Records [ ] for the largest movers of household goods in the country. APML has successfully done more than 14 lakh household shifting, and is the most desirable packer and mover in India.


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