Express News Service
PATNA: In memory of a friend who died in a road mishap, computer engineer Raghavendra Kumar, 34, has distributed 49,000 helmets for free in the last 7 years.
When Kumar faced the fund crunch for the free distribution of helmets, he sold his 3 bighas of ancestral land and a house in Greater Noida.
Kumar has now been given the sobriquet the ‘helmet man of India’ for his deeds.
“In 2014, my friend KK Thakur, who was from Bihar’s Madhubani district, lost his life in a road mishap in Noida. He was riding a bike without a helmet. Since then, I have been distributing helmets in his memory,” Kumar said.
In the last seven years, Kumar claimed to have distributed 49,272 helmets in 22 states, including Delhi, Bihar, UP, MP, Rajashthan, Haryana, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Himachal Pradesh.
“In Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I have distributed more than 6,500 helmets among the helmetless bikers,” he claimed.
Kumar also distributed the highest number of helmets — 13000 — in Bihar, including 4,000 helmets in Kaimur, his home district.
“When I faced the fund crunch for purchasing the helmets, I sold 3 bighas of land at my native place in Bihar and a house, which was bought at Greater Noida,” he claimed.
He appealed to the corporate houses to donate helmets to him under corporate social responsibility to make India accident-free.
“I have so far spent approximately Rs 2 crore for the purchases of more than 49, 272 helmets of branded companies. I will continue doing this as it would bring peace to the departed soul of my friend,” Kumar said.
Kumar has also created a website named ‘Helmetman’ with links and addresses of various helmet-manufacturing companies.
Recently, Kumar donated 172 helmets to girls as gifts for their brothers on the day of Rakshabandhan in Bihar. Impressed at his service, he was hosted by Bollywood actor Sonu Sood for a private new channel as the helmet man of India. The programme will be telecast soon.