Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
In 2017, 1.46 lakh people died in accidents. Many of these casualties lead to deaths because the victims were not rushed to the hospital in time. A law commission report projected that if the injured are taken to a hospital within the first one hour of an accident, also called ‘Golden hour’, 50% of lives can be saved.
Now, the Good Samaritans, who volunteer in rushing the accident victims to the hospital or provide them medical treatment will be awarded the national honour Jeevan Raksha Padak from the government. Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday, August 14, said that the Home Ministry had accepted the suggestion of his ministry to consider Good Samaritans for the national award.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Jeevak Raksha Padak is facilitated to meritorious civilians for their brave actions in rescuing people who suffer severe injuries from drowning in water, accidents, fire incidents, electrocution, natural calamities, rescue operation in mines etc. The national honour is categorised as Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Jeevan Raksha Padak. According to Nitin Gadkari, soon, worthwhile Good Samaritans will also be honoured with the Jeevan Rakshak Padak. A lump-sum money of 40000/- will be given to the winners under the category.
“We had suggested to include Good Samaritans for the national level award to home minister Rajnath Singh ji, and his ministry has approved the proposal. People should come forward to help the victims without fear of facing any question or legal hassle” Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told the Times of India
In 2012, a non-profit organisation, working in the field of Road Safety, Save Life Foundation, filed a PIL to the Supreme Court to empower a common man to save an accident victim by not involving him in the Police inquiry during the time of admitting the injured civilian to the hospital, under the Good Samaritan law, so that a common man can help his fellow citizen injured in an accident, without facing any harassment.
Replying to the PIL, in 2013, The Supreme court ordered the Ministry of Home affairs to set up a committee and review the guidelines mentioned in the PIL. On 12th May 2015, Ministry of Roadways and Transport issued a notification of guidelines to protect a good Samaritan from harassment. The Supreme court approved the notification to enact the law.
However, even after the enactment of Good Samaritan Law, people were not helping the victims. A plausible reason was that people hesitated to come to the rescue of the injured fearing the legal process. To solve this, the government planned to award the Good Samaritans and encourage bystanders to help road accident victims. ‘Good Samaritan’ is derived from the parable in the era of Jesus Christ, which says helping the stranger.
The Logical Indian believes that a policy that encourages citizens to help their fellow citizens and save their lives is undoubtedly a step in the right direction
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