HPCL: A lesson on safety

By Poojya Trivedi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | October 05, 2010
Suraksha Sanchetana Abhiyaan covers 408 small towns and villages and aims to engage about 30 million people

LPG, while being a popular cooking fuel, is also one of the leading reasons for accidents in households. This is mostly due to the lack of knowledge of LPG users about safety measures.

According to the 2001 census, 17.5 per cent or 33.6 million Indian households used LPG as cooking fuel in 2001. In urban areas, 47.96 per cent households use LPG. However, this number significantly drops in rural areas, where only 5.76 per cent of the households use LPG.

To tap this market and tackle the problem of safety, the LPG division of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has launched Suraksha Sanchetana Abhiyaan to engage people in 408 small towns and villages. Through the initiative, the company aims to engage about 30 million people.

Rohit Mago, brand manager, LPG, HP Gas, says, "LPG penetration in these areas is improving. Therefore, there is a need to educate these customers on safe usage of LPG, to avoid accidents."

The activity is being managed across India by Dialect, the BTL (below-the-line) arm of GroupM. "The objective of the event is to promote the safety measures and precautions required while using gas stoves and cylinders in the villages," says Dharit Parikh, group head, Dialect.

As a part of the initiative, a skit called Chhoti Chhoti Baatein is performed to educate villagers, especially housewives, on how to use LPG gas and the safety measures and precautions that need to be taken while handling gas stoves and cylinders. The skit involves local artists and is performed in local languages.

The skit shows the safety measures that can be taken in a typical house. It also informs about the steps to be taken in case of a leakage, the sort of clothes to wear while cooking, the maintenance of the cooking stoves and other precautionary measures to ensure safety in dealing with LPG.

The agency is conducting these skits in high footfall areas such as bus stops, mandis or market places. Also, 11 canters are being used for the activity, which will cover 408 villages and towns.

Promotions for the initiative are being done through traditional media. In 70 major cities, the agency has tied up with five major radio channels that are promoting the initiative and in other towns, it is being promoted through print ads in local newspapers.

To measure the success of the event, the agency is using a Pledge Board, where the audience can sign and take a pledge to use LPG safely.

The activity is now in its second year. In 2009, the activity focused on metros and Tier II cities across India, covering 102 cities. This year, the activity is being spread over two and a half months.

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