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  • Writer's pictureReshma Jain

On a mission to make the world Pot-hole-free

Usually, the thought of an NGO starts with the reason being a personal tragedy. With PotHoleRaja, both the directors identified that this is a problem that needs a lot of attention. They started this with the thought of saving as many lives as they can because of poor road infrastructure.

It all started when Dr. Prathaap B. Rao accepted the situation of bad roads in India and thought if he as an individual can do something about it. An ex-Indian Airforce pilot, after a crash-landing, had to move out of the Airforce and thus started his corporate journey. With 11 years in corporate, the time when he decided to leave the job in 2011, he was the Global VP of HP.

After that, his entrepreneurial journey started initially as a management consultant. He started working with a lot of companies that were towards road management and construction leading him to understand the reason behind the bad roads. That’s where the research started in terms of road safety and potholes immersed out to be one of the biggest reasons for death on Indian Roads which led to PotHoleRaja’s formation. And the first pothole fixing happened in 2016.

PotHoleRaja’s co-founder, Sourabh Kumar’s journey started while he was working with HP as a Software Developer. One news article related to a pothole accident caught his eyes, shook him, and led him to ask, “Is a pothole really worth taking someone’s life?” And with that, he initially joined Prathaap as a volunteer for 7 months and then decided to leave his job at HP and decide to continue the mission of making our world pothole-free.

PotHoleRaja has come up with its innovative product ‘PotHoleRaja GridMats’. They are made from 100% recycled plastic and are not only able to create a cost-effective road with a minimum life of 30 years but also come with the additional benefits of 80% less CO2 emissions and usage of less fossil fuel.

Dr Prathaap said, “The two things that India is lacking in terms of road safety are Awareness and Accountability. We, riders are also least bothered about road safety and in following the instructions. We tend to ignore the issues most of the time and do not even consider reporting them, also being the reason that most of us are not aware of the right place to report. But how aware we are in terms of our individual responsibilities is the major missing link.”

“We, at PotHoleRaja are trying to bridge this gap by volunteerism. We have always focused on creating a community where once the volunteer comes and fixes a pothole with us, they understand what power one individual holds in bringing the action,” he said adding that for better road infrastructure, there needs to be awareness in terms of behavioural aspect among individuals right from a young age (during their school) regarding road safety.

There has been a considerable impact on ground by the projects executed by PotHoleRaja in the journey of the past 5 years. They have fixed 13000+Potholes in 10 cities, impacted 20L+ Lives directly, 15L lives are safe on the road daily and 150 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been reduced.

How Can Someone Report Potholes? And what after that?

The community can send the pothole picture & GPS location of Potholes for review and assessment to PotHoleRaja at +91- 81476 84653. Once the cost assessment is done, the fundings are done either via corporates, online crowdfunding platforms, or individual donors.

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