The Mumbai Police has found a new way to get children to follow traffic rules — through a cartoon character.
Popular children’s entertainment channel Cartoon Network has produced a public service message, which was launched on Children’s Day by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The one-minute animation video features Kris from the popular Cartoon Network show Roll No. 21, who stresses on the importance of safely crossing roads, wearing seatbelts and making way on the road for ambulances to pass.
Siddharth Jain, managing director (South Asia), Turner India, said the police’s message required a fun medium. “When the messaging is fun, kids will listen. When parents and schools say this to children, there will be an element of rebellion. We wanted to do something responsible and who better to tie up with that than the Mumbai Police,” he said.
The event at the National Sports Club of India in Worli Tuesday morning was attended by over 3,000 students from several schools in the city. Throughout the programme, the police turned to popular cartoon characters to demonstrate the need for children to be wary of strangers and to contact the police if they fell they were in danger.
Fadnavis said November 14 was the right day to launch the new animation.
“There is no way you can risk the happiness of children. Please take care of yourselves,” she appealed to the school children in attendance. Fadnavis added: “You should engrave this video in your mind in such a way that if there is an alarming situation you will act upon it and shout out for help to the police, who are the real heroes.”
Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar said the new campaign was a good example of police-public partnership and aimed at the generation of smart children. “Children’s words carry a lot of weight in telling elders to follow traffic rules,” he said.
Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said the police had been working with Cartoon Network for the last three weeks to develop the campaign. The video has been posted to the police’s Twitter handle and Cartoon Network India’s Facebook page.