by Ha Nguyen
Youth volunteers have proved that they can help in social activities such as traffic control in Ha Noi.
Ho Hong Lam will not forget the help of one particular volunteer, Doan Van Nguyen, from the University of Transport.
Recently, Lam's mother suddenly suffered from extreme stomach pain. She was worried that she had appendicitis and asked Lam to rush her to Bach Mai Hospital by motorbike.
Lam said that the street traffic at that time was so heavy that it might put his mother in danger.
"I was really worried about my mum's health, suddenly a youth volunteer, named Nguyen, arrived and helped us to get through the crowded roads. They also helped by comforting my mother until we got her to the hospital,"said Lam.
Nguyen made a phone call to one of his friends to manage the traffic while he helped Lam and his mother.
"Thanks to Nguyen, my mother got medical attention in time. The doctor said that her appedix might have burst if she had arrived any later," said Lam.
Nguyen Le Thuy, from Cao Bang, who visited Ha Noi for the first time, said she saw traffic volunteers working very hard.
"When I stopped to ask for directions, I was surprised by the helpfulness of these volunteers. They took time to give me directions and even told me ways to go where my handbag was less likely to be stolen," said Thuy. She added that they treated everybody with respect.
In Ha Noi's crowded streets it is not uncommon to see blue-shirted volunteers directing traffic, even going above and beyond to instruct people or help them along their way.
"The roads are so crowded, and the weather so extreme that we often come home with dirty faces from our daily commutes," said Ha Ngoc Thai, a student at the University of Trade Union.
Thai said that despite the hard conditions that many of his friends face during their commutes, their lessons provide enough incentive for them to make the daily trips.
He added that controlling traffic is not a simple task. It requires courage and responsibility.
Dinh Van Hung, an elderly gentleman, commented that he was very impressed by traffic volunteers, who work under difficult conditions for no pay.
Hung thanks them for helping his nephews and nieces get to school on time for their exams.
Traffic policeman Vu Huy Thong, in charge of traffic control at one of the busiest intersections on Thai Ha Street, said, "the volunteers always come to work on time and work very hard. We appreciate the work they do for our community".
Even the Transport Minister, Dinh La Thang, commented after a tour around the city, that these young volunteers are providing a useful service to the capital.
He said, "These young people are students at universities and colleges in Ha Noi. When I asked them about why they were volunteering their time, they told me that they wanted to reduce traffic jams around the city."
Thang requested that volunteers be paid a nominal fee of VND50,000 per day, and be provided with warm clothes during the winter.
He also asked that colleges and universities provide assistance for volunteers. — VNS