सिण्डी लाइटनरको एक छोरी थिईन् । तिनी एकल महिला थिईन् । तिनलाई सन् १९८० सालको एकदिन कसैले फोन गरेर जानकारी गरायो कि तिनको आÇनो १३ वर्षको छोरीलाई एक मातेको ड्राइभरले चलाएको गाडीले हान्यो र तिनी दुर्घटनामा परिन् । तिनी अस्पताल पुग्दा छोरी मरिसकेकी थिईन् । तिनको जीवनमा यो एक ठुलो आपत प¥यो । तर तिनी त्यही समस्यामा विचलित भएर बसिरहिनन् ।
एकदिन तिनी आÇनो स्वर्गीय छोरी केरीको ओछ्यानमा गएर प्रार्थना गरेर समय बिताउदै थिईन् । प्रभुले तिनको मनमा यो घटना संसारभरिकै आमालाई पर्न सक्छ भन्ने आवास गराउनुभयो । तिनले छोरी केरीको ओछ्यानबाट नै म्याड (MADD) नामक संस्था शुरु गरिन् । Madd को अर्थ Mothers Against Drunk Driving हो । यो संस्थाले विश्वभरी काम गरिरहेको छ । हाम्रो देशमा पनि ट्राफिक प्रहरीहरुले मादक पदार्थ सेवन गरेको हो अथवा होइन भनेर चेक गर्ने उपकरण (मापासे ) पनि यहि संस्थाको उपज हो ।
सिण्डीले मेरो छोरी दुर्घटनामा परेर मरी भनेर विलाप मै बसिरहनु भएन, तर उनीले यो घटना पछि विश्वभरीको मादक पदार्थ सेवन गरेर सवारीसाधन चलाउने चालकहरुले धेरैको ज्यान जोखिममा पार्ने कुरामा ध्यान दिईन र तिनीले यो संस्था शुरु गरिन् ।
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Four days after Cari’s death, Lightner started up a grassroots organization to advocate for stiffer penalties for drunk driving. She quit her job and used her savings to fund Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (later known as Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Before starting MADD, Lightner had been uninvolved in social reform or politics. “I wasn’t even registered to vote,” she explained to Peoplemagazine. Later that year, Lightner joined forces with Cindi Lamb, whose daughter had been left paralyzed by a drunk driving accident. The pair went to Washington, D.C., that October to raise awareness about the issue of drunk driving.
To advance her cause, Lightner proved to be a tireless fighter. She visited California governor Jerry Brown’s office on a daily basis until the governor launched a state commission on drunk driving. Lightner was one of the first people appointed to the commission. Lecturing and lobbying across the country, she became a leading activist on this issue. President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the National Commission on Drunk Driving in 1984.
Through MADD, Lightner helped get new anti-drunk driving legislation passed in individual states and nationally. One of the group’s most significant accomplishments from this time was the national law that raised the legal drinking age to 21. Lightner’s activism also inspired her daughter Serena to form Students Against Drunk Driving. Lightner left the organization she founded in 1985 amid allegations of financial mismanagement. MADD was accused on spending too much money on fundraising instead of on programs.
No matter the circumstances of her departure, Lightner had helped develop MADD into an international movement during her tenure. She told CNN that the group had nearly 400 chapters across the globe and gained 2 million members within the first three years.