What are the chances of anyone bumping into Yamaraj, the God of Death? Well, the most likely way is to drink and drive. Zaras, a popular Tapas bar in the city, certainly knows how to put the fear of God into people to warn them of the hazards of drinking and driving. A video, Yamaraj — Drink and Get Driven, that the bar has made in collaboration with the Chennai traffic police, is going viral on social networking sites. Produced and Directed by Shivakar Srinivasan, the video has a Yama who appears in cars as soon as the valet hands over the keys to the owners.
S.M. Bablu, the bar’s Unit Manager, says, “We had initially started this awareness programme where we would have special offers for the person in a group who doesn’t drink and takes the responsibility of driving back home. So the next time he is back, we give him or her a cocktail or a mocktail on the house. Apart from that, we also encourage customers, who are in no shape to drive, to partake of the valet service.”
Impressed by this, one of the regular customers thought of taking the idea ahead and making a video for public awareness. Not many pubs and bars in the city pay much attention to issues like drunken driving.
People believe that a lot more could be done. Fitness trainer Ajit Sigamani, says, “A lot more awareness is required. Probably, the DJ could announce a couple of times about the valet services that are available or if the manager himself could talk to people and let them know about the services.”
City youngsters too think that people should be more responsible. Maalavika Manoj, a singer-songwriter, says, “I have lost a close friend because of drunken driving and whenever, I get a chance, I tell my friends to be careful.”