Auction, music shows to help victims of drunk driving

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) In a bid to provide help tovictims of drunken driving tragedies in India, a Delhi-basedNGO has launched an all-India campaign to raise money for themthrough an auction of paintings and music shows.

"Music for a cause Project" has been launched byCommunity against Drunken Driving that will hold seven musicalshows and painting auctions in seven different cities inIndia.

"Drinking age has gone up to 12 and 13 years nowadays.

We want to spread awareness in teenagers against underagedrinking through music. Music can act as a good therapy," saysPrince Singhal, founder of Community against Drunken Driving(CADD).

Shows will be held in schools, colleges, pubs and barsto attract teenagers and make them aware about the dangers ofdrinking.

Jagjit Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Shibani Kashyap,percussionist Sivamani and rock bands Euphoria and Parikramaare expected to perform for the cause.

"All these artists are associated with us and they aredoing their bit to address the problems of underage anddrunken driving," says Singhal.

The campaign kicks off this evening with performanceby Sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri at the Embassy of SlovakRepublic here.

"I have seen people driving after drinking. I want tomake them aware about its harmful effects. I have preparedsome special musical numbers for the occassion," says Sabri.

While singer Shibani Kashyap is composing a song ondrunken driving the band Euphoria would compose a songespecially for underage drinkers.

"The problem of underage drinking is increasing eachday. The purchasing power of people is going up and thesociety is more open than before," says Singhal.

A documentary film is also being made which will beplayed in Delhi pubs and bars to alert the people drinkingthere, not to drive in high spirits.

"The government should come forwrd and make lawsstringent for drunk drivers. The laws here are not asstringent as they are in foreign countries," says Singhal.

Proceeds from auction of paintings by seven differentartists will go to around 50 families who have been victims ofdrunken driving tragedy in India.

"Nobody comes forward to help these people. When thesole earner of a family dies in an accident, its tough tosurvive for his family. We are doing a small gesture to helpthem," says Singhal.

With over 130,000 deaths annually in road accidents,India has one of the worst road traffic accident rateworldwide, according to a World Health Organization reportlast year. It identifies drunk driving as one of the majorcauses of road accidents.

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