Vile Parle’s gully boys seek police help to curb rogue motorists

12 boys, who man no-entry lanes near their school, have faced constant abuse and ridicule from vehicle owners

A group of students from Vile Parle (East), who have been running a movement to sensitise two- and four-wheeler owners about following traffic rules since 2017, have now sought police assistance to tackle the growing menace after facing constant abuse and ridicule.

The 12 boys, studying at Parle Tilak Vidyalaya English Medium School, started the ‘No Entry’ movement in 2017. They can be found on their bicycles across the three lanes surrounding their school, where despite signboards, traffic rules are mostly never followed.

Since there was no regular police supervision in the area, the students, aged between 14 and 17 years, decided to take matters in their own hands. They began stopping vehicles entering the no-entry lanes by fearlessly standing in front of them. Sometimes, they even take pictures and videos of the drivers, scaring them off.

Chinmay Gokhle, 17, whose batch started this, said, “We began ‘No Entry’ in 2017. Some people cooperate, while others don’t. Some abuse and threaten us, and we still didn’t stop. We asked for help from the police and they helped us for a while. Then we got into a major fight, and our batch stopped doing this. The juniors have started it again.”

But what do they think the solution to this problem is? Adneya Khaire and Rajas Khandekar, both 14, said CCTV cameras should be installed so that cars that violate signs can be identified. “Some bikers do not even wear helmets. We also understand that the police have a lot of work around the area, so we try to do whatever we can. Apart from not wearing a helmet, some of them do not even have a licence. A huge fine should be levied on them,” Adneya said.

While their initiative has garnered huge praise and response on social media, on the ground, the boys are met with rude vehicle owners who hurl abuses at them. This led to them approaching the police through their parents.

They have received the backing of the Vile Parle Residents Association, which tweeted, “Kudos to these Vile Parle teenagers who request offending vehicles to follow traffic discipline on one-way lane in front of Parle Tilak ICSE school. Sometimes they are met with rude vehicle owners who threaten them. @MumbaiPolice, can’t their efforts be supported?”

The police have since responded by deploying a team in the area. “A constable from our team has been going to that area for the past two days. We will start patrolling there regularly and do the most we can,” Kazi Vakola, an inspector from the Vile Parle police station, said.

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