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Marvel Studios working on Muslim superhero Kamala Khan movie

A film about the Pakistani-American teenager from the comics is ‘definitely sort of in the works’, Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege said.

Marvel Studios has plans to introduce Kamala Khan, also known as Ms Marvel, in one of its films after Captain Marvel comes out next year, the production house’s president Kevin Feige told BBC. In the comics, Khan is a Pakistani-American teenager who has shape-shifting abilities and idolises the older female superhero, Captain Marvel.

“Ms Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works,” Feige said in an interview to the broadcasting network. “We have plans for that once we’ve introduced Captain Marvel to the world.”

Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, will be released on March 8, 2019. It is Marvel’s first female-led superhero film. Ms Marvel is the name given to female superheros in the comics who are inspired by Captain Marvel. Kamala Khan, introduced in 2013, was the fourth to take the name and the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel comic series.

Though Feige did not provide any details on how Ms Marvel would be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Twitter had many suggestions.

Some users also suggested Priyanka Chopra, who voiced the character in a Marvel video game, for the role. However, others pointed out that Chopra doesn’t fulfill the requirements of the role, since it demands a teenage Pakistani actor.

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People who fall through the gaps in road safety campaigns

Helmet and road safety campaigns might have been neglecting a sizeable chunk of the public at risk.

City police, across the country, have been running a long-drawn campaign on helmet safety. In a recent initiative by the Bengaluru Police, a cop dressed-up as ‘Lord Ganesha’ offered helmets and roses to two-wheeler riders. Earlier this year, a 12ft high and 9ft wide helmet was installed in Kota as a memorial to the victims of road accidents. As for the social media leg of the campaign, the Mumbai Police made a pop-culture reference to drive the message of road safety through their Twitter handle.

But, just for the sake of conversation, how much safety do helmets provide anyway?

Lack of physical protections put two-wheeler riders at high risk on the road. According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. Nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are ‘vulnerable road users’ – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. According to the Indian transport ministry, about 28 two-wheeler riders died daily on Indian roads in 2016 for not wearing helmets.

The WHO states that wearing a motorcycle helmet correctly can reduce the risk of death by almost 40% and the risk of severe injury by over 70%. The components of a helmet are designed to reduce impact of a force collision to the head. A rigid outer shell distributes the impact over a large surface area, while the soft lining absorbs the impact.

However, getting two-wheeler riders to wear protective headgear has always been an uphill battle, one that has intensified through the years owing to the lives lost due on the road. Communication tactics are generating awareness about the consequences of riding without a helmet and changing behaviour that the law couldn’t on its own. But amidst all the tag-lines, slogans and get-ups that reach out to the rider, the safety of the one on the passenger seat is being ignored.

Pillion rider safety has always been second in priority. While several state governments are making helmets for pillion riders mandatory, the lack of awareness about its importance runs deep. In Mumbai itself, only 1% of the 20 lakh pillion riders wear helmets. There seems to be this perception that while two-wheeler riders are safer wearing a helmet, their passengers don’t necessarily need one. Statistics prove otherwise. For instance, in Hyderabad, the Cyberabad traffic police reported that 1 of every 3 two-wheeler deaths was that of a pillion rider. DGP Chander, Goa, stressed that 71% of fatalities in road accidents in 2017 were of two-wheeler rider and pillion riders of which 66% deaths were due to head injury.

Despite the alarming statistics, pillion riders, who are as vulnerable as front riders to head-injuries, have never been the focus of helmet awareness and safety drives. To fill-up that communication gap, Reliance General Insurance has engineered a campaign, titled #FaceThePace, that focusses solely on pillion rider safety. The campaign film tells a relatable story of a father taking his son for cricket practice on a motorbike. It then uses cricket to bring our attention to a simple flaw in the way we think about pillion rider safety – using a helmet to play a sport makes sense, but somehow, protecting your head while riding on a two-wheeler isn’t considered.

This road safety initiative by Reliance General Insurance has taken the lead in addressing the helmet issue as a whole — pillion or front, helmets are crucial for two-wheeler riders. The film ensures that we realise how selective our worry about head injury is by comparing the statistics of children deaths due to road accidents to fatal accidents on a cricket ground. Message delivered. Watch the video to see how the story pans out.

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To know more about Reliance general insurance policies, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Reliance General Insurance and not by the Scroll editorial team.