A gruesome road accident on that fateful day in January took away his daughter, 18-year-old Fareeha, the youngest among his seven children. A student of Pakistan School Muscat, she was just three months away from writing her final higher secondary school examinations. The tragic accident which claimed three lives, of course, raised serious concerns on the safety of children and the speeding school buses.
Tragedies do bring in changes, in society and in people's minds. Seeing the investigating officials searching in vain for the identity of the driver who fled the accident site, Parvez Bhatti, Fareeha's father, wished he could do something to help them nab the guilty. And something struck his mind at that moment. A logbook would have come handy, he thought, if not a black box. There was a need for some kind of document to be kept in all vehicles, from which the public or the police could gather all information during such emergencies.
With the approval of the Royal Oman Police and the Ministry of Information, Parvez is now all set to launch the logbook which is expected to find a place in the dashboard of cars, buses and trucks in Oman soon. "Both the ROP and the Ministry of Information appreciated the idea and they also gave me some suggestions on the content. The book is ready for print and it will be launched on June 25," he says.
Dedicated to his daughter
'I dedicate this logbook to my beloved daughter who left us…' reads the first page, signifying the whole purpose of the book. "My wife, till today, does not know that I am working on this book. I have kept it as a surprise for her," says Parvez, who runs his own business in landscaping and construction since his retirement from the Ministry of Defence in 1999. All his other children, now married and settled elsewhere, had studied in Muscat and he had been leading an active social life till the tragic death of Fareeha.
"Then I thought, why shouldn't I continue with my contribution to society? This could benefit all as the book carries comprehensive information about the owner, sponsor and driver, besides important telephone numbers and valuable tips for safe driving," Parvez points out. The ROP suggested he could include roads rules, both in Arabic and in English, in the first few pages of the book while the Ministry of Information suggested restricting the number of pages so that it could be kept conveniently in the dashboards.
"It would be around 150 pages and the launch, to be held officially at Prince Palace hall in Al Hail, will be attended by officials from the ministry," he says.
The book, being published by Song and Bird Advertisers and Publishers, will be priced at RO2.5 and be available in bookshops, supermarkets, petrol stations and insurance companies.
"We will also provide it for vehicles of various ministries and they will be kept for sale at the ROP vehicle registration centres as well," Parvez says. He is also looking for people who can market the logbook in other cities and towns across Oman.