Saumya Pandya Thakkar, The story behind the story: 3D Street Arts + Curiosity = Saving Human Lives

Artist Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Her Mom Painted 3D Zebra Crossings to Reduce Car Accidents in India. “It is high time we stop blaming the authority and the system, and should start assisting them, using our skills and knowledge to solve the major problems that the world is facing these days!”

Traffic accidents

Preceding her TEDtalk Saumya shared a short video, explaining the high fatality rate of car accidents in India. “According to data in the public domain, there is one death every four minutes due to road accidents in India, which is nearly 382 road deaths every day.” Saumya added: “the numbers had me frozen.” A feeling shared by the audience.

One day Saumya got a call from local officials that her 3D street art concept had the potential to reduce the number of car accidents in so-called Black Spots. She promised a yes without any hesitation, however considering the tight deadlines for painting and traditional rules for girls in India was somewhat troubling. “Back home girls don’t go on the street to paint, but in this case my mother Shakuntala Pandya and husband Paarth Thakkar filled all the confidence and spark in me. We won’t forget those sleepless nights. I was tense because the entire traffic was going to be diverted, and we had to paint in limited time.”

Art can rescue mankind

Looking back, all the hard works are paid back. Saumya and her mom’s 3D Zebra Crossings resulted in significant speed and fatality reduction. The concept drew the attention of The Indian Road Transport & Highway Ministry, Through which they got another invitation to paint on the national highway in Delhi, the capital city of India.

“Art can rescue the mankind. Art has the power to save lives. But what next? This is not the end because new concepts will not take much time to gain maturity. Identical concepts might not work everywhere, and thus creative people should get ready for the next innovation. We can reframe the old tricks but should not leave the dilemma until we solve it somehow.”

Saumya offered a big question for the next level of day-to-day innovation, which involved everyone until her mom surprisingly walked on the stage, and pointed out with a laugh: “ fitness can always help!”

Text by: Jiaying Li