If you found an old, destitute person lying helplessly on the pavement, would you go ahead and try to ensure she/he is resettled in safer hands? As a Good Samaritan, you should. But is the process easy and straightforward?
It was about 3 pm, last Wednesday, when Babu Babu Shanoj, 37, manager at an international credit card firm, saw an old woman lying on the pavement near Yeshwanthpur Circle, Bengaluru. The woman was in a very poor health condition and inadequately dressed. She was trying to crawl, unable to stand up on her own.
On enquiring, Babu was shocked to learn that the woman was lying there for over a day, while no passer-by had bothered to give a second look. After offering her some water, Babu called up a telephone directory service looking for organisations he could contact. However, the subsequent process wasn’t as smooth as it should ideally be:
1. First, Babu contacted a home for the destitute. His request was turned down, and instead, he was given the number of Auto Raja.
2. Babu then contacted the police on ‘100’, but they in turn gave him the number of Beggars’ Colony and asked him to take the old woman there.
3. Repeated calls to Beggars’ Colony went unanswered.
4. Then Babu called up Auto Raja, who said he was willing to take in the old woman, but certain formalities would have to be completed with the jurisdictional police.
5. Babu called the police again, this time informing them that Auto Raja was ready to take the old woman.
Within 15 minutes, a male and a female cop arrived in a jeep and asked Babu whether he would bear the transport expenses. He agreed and went to the police station to fill up the details. Thereafter, an auto organised by the police took the old woman to Auto Raja’s place.
The Logical Indian community salutes Babu Babu Shanoj’s selfless efforts, and encourages its members to help an ailing fellow citizen whenever possible. At the same time, it is very clear that our system needs a lot of modifications. We would expect emergency-helpline operators to be well-informed about the solutions for such cases. Besides, there should be laws that not only exempt Good Samaritans from the hassles of formalities, but also reward them for their selfless acts.