April 24th, 2016
On the 18th of April, our system failed a family, a common man whose selfless act of heroism saved two children from being burnt to death. On Monday, around 6:30 pm, Rajesh Goyal, a resident of east Delhi, was going to take his family out for a movie when he saw smoke coming out of a neighbouring building. On realising that there were children on the third floor he rushed inside to rescue them.
The negligence of the fire department
Even though at this point his son Pratham Goyal informed the fire department about the fire accident they did not take the call seriously. Statements like “tumhare jagah pe roz hi aag lagi rehti hai” (There is a new fire everyday in your colony), “ abhi market lagi hai, hum kaise aye” (It’s the rush hour , how will we come ? ) show the casual and irresponsible attitude of the fire officials .Other people from the colony also made calls to the fire station since the situation was getting serious. Meanwhile the locals were trying to douse the fire themselves and Mr. Rajesh went to the opposite building and started throwing water from there.But due to a sudden gas cylinder blast in the building which was already on fire the building on which Mr. Goyal was standing got severely damaged.Even though the first call to the fire department was made at around 6:50 pm, they reached the place only by 7:45 pm.
The negligence by the police department
The police got the injured to “Lok Nayak Hospital”, a reputed government hospital with all modern facilities. But the police authority had no clarity on where the patients had been taken and the family members had to go around checking hospitals. Mr. Rajesh was conscious when he brought to the hospital and told his name. The family feels that if the police had asked for his emergency contact ad informed them on time, they could have got him better medical aid as soon as possible.
The negligence of the Lok Nayak Hospital’s staff
Despite his critical condition, the staff at Lok Nayak Hospital paid no heed to the emergency case, according to Mr. Shambhu Aggarwal, brother of Mr. Rajesh who reached the hospital to find his brother lying unattended on a stretcher. He had a deep scar on his neck, a metal object had hit him on his chest, his back was injured severely and there was a lot of blood flowing. “I had to literally shout to get their attention, forget about treatment, they did not even provide basic first aid. My brother was conscious at that time and was gesturing to me about his injuries. We had to specifically ask for oxygen supplies” he shares. By the time the hospital took any action, Rajesh Goyal had lost his life. He lost his life because the hospital staff refused to do their job. The system made it hard for his family to even mourn his death. The Investigation Officer took his own time to release Rajesh’s body, all for a signature on a death certificate. Even then they got the name on the certificate wrong and were made to rush around for the correction.
The Family’s struggle to be heard
Mr. Shambu says that he has lost all hope in the system ‘Do you think seeing things like these, anyone will ever try to help others?’ The family feels that had even one department done its duty properly, he might still have been alive. And even though they know they can never have him back, they’ve decided to take their fight against the system forward. They want the authorities to take strict action against the fire department, the police department, the doctors and staff who were on duty at emergency ward at Lok Nayak Hospital.
Shubhangi Goyal, Mr. Rajesh Goyal’s niece says “We want people to be aware of this so that there is zero tolerance for such careless attitude. Strict action must be taken against the people responsible for this. We can never get him back but maybe tomorrow someone else’s life can be saved”.
It is only commendable that even in such tough times the family is fighting the system even though there is no gain in it for them now. One can only understand how tough it must be for them but they don’t want it to happen to another family for they know how it is to lose someone due to someone‘s else negligence.
They have planned a peaceful candle light march on Monday, 25thApril, 6:30pm from their house in Gandhi Nagar colony, East Delhi to a nearby temple, which anyone willing to can join.
Our prayers go out to the family and we hope that authorities take strict action against the responsible people as soon as possible.