Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) and Eicher Trucks and Buses have tied- up to introduce Driver Pragati Kendra. The Manesar based facility, which is an IOCL COCO outlet, has been designed as a solution to address fatigue management, road safety and share best practices for driving profession.The driver training would include:
- Fuel efficient driving techniques, important for saving fuel.
- Safe driving habits, important for personal safety.
- Basic vehicles maintenance for better vehicles up time.
- Health and hygiene for personal well being and happy life.
- Behavioral training covering communication, financial planning, mobile literacy and family welfare.
While there has been significant investment and development in the sector, truck drivers are essentially an ignored lot despite the role they play. Commercial vehicle drivers have to travel long distances making it a challenging and physically demanding job. They are away from home for weeks at a time and a majority of them also come from economically weaker sections of society and have limited access to any form of personal and professional development.
In addition, 75% of road accidents in India are caused due to driving mistakes and last year over 1.4 lakh people lost their lives in road accidents. These figures can definitely come down if drivers are adequately trained in safe driving and are not fatigued as adequate rest and sleep is very crucial for them.
The Driver Pragati Kendra, will also help induct commercial vehicle drivers within the realms of respectable society by giving them access to basic amenities. Driver Pragati Kendra is a facility with services like dormitory accommodation, bathing & washing areas, laundry facility, food at subsidized rates and recreational facilities along with access to cash vending machines.
As the national economy relies on the trucking industry to grow, the demand for skilled truck drivers is only poised to increase further, while currently there is an acute shortage of competent drivers in the country. Initiatives like Driver Pragati Kendra will play a crucial role in addressing this need gap by focusing on educating the drivers in the required skill-set, at the same time improving their health and family welfare.
Speaking on the occasion, Sajjan Kumar, ED (DSO) at IOCL, said, “Infrastructure at COCO Manesar is a benchmark retail outlet to provide superior customer experience. It provides good resting place for drivers and other facilities like hygienic food, medical room, salon, self- cooking area and clean washrooms. It has an open air theatre where driver can enjoy popular Bollywood movies and watch global award winning education films developed by Eicher. Proper relaxation will promote stress free driving and avoid road accidents.”
Vinod Aggarwal (MD and CEO – VE Commercial Vehicles), speaking as the Chief Guest, at the occasion said, “Eicher has always strived to improve the working conditions of commercial vehicle drivers who face tough working conditions, hardships and need an environment wherein they can easily access their daily needs to improve their efficiency and to de-stress after long journey. We will be conducting training programs which will enhance their professional and personal life skills. In the initial phase, 200 drivers will benefit from this program every month at this facility, which will be scaled up gradually. The Driver Pragati Kendra is a first of its kind initiative and also reflects Eicher’s commitment for driver empowerment and welfare.”