Even as India struggles to grapple with the increasing number of deaths caused due to road-accidents, stories like that of this IIM Professor’s is sure to put a smile on your face.
Aloke Kumar, a professor at IIM Kolkata, wrote a heart-warming post on Facebook where he thanked all those who helped his son, Abhishek on the road when he met with an accident.
According to a report in 2006 by the Law Commision of India, at least 50% of the deaths caused by road accidents can be prevented by administering medical attention to the victims within the critical first hour. However, many refrain from assisting those in need, fearing a number of police investigations that follow soon after.
The Heartfelt Message
However, Aloke Kumar, highlighted a pleasant exception to this, when he narrated an incident involving his son Abhishek while returning from the Parsee Fire Temple at Metcalfe St, Lal Bazar in Kolkata was hit by a speeding bus. Abhishek, who was riding on his two-wheeler hit his head on the road.
According to his narration, pedestrians gathered and helped Abhishek by offering water. While some offered to take him to a nearby hospital, others even dialed 100 to call for police.
The message further stated that none of Abhishek’s valuables were missing, which only goes on to show that humanity still exists. He ended the post with applauding Kolkata stating, “This is Calcutta I love”.
My son met with an accident
Abhishek, whilst returning from a visit to the Parsee Fire Temple at Metcalfe St, Lal Bazar,
While dismounting the flyover at Jawahar Lal Nehru Road, opposite to Virginia House, was hit by a Public Bus, which was speeding .
He was thrown of his Vespa two-wheeler and hit the road with his helmeted-head.
He completely blacked-out for 5 to 7 minutes.
In the meantime, passers by and pedestrians gathered
and got him back to senses.
He was offered water.
His vehicle twisted was lifted physically from the main road and parked in the foot-path.
Some offered to take him to SSKM Hospital but he requested them to :
Call his father at his mobile
Reach him Home in a Taxi.
Many called 100 for Police.
They rushed him Home and one of them offered to stay until I arrived.
I took him to Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra where he was attended.
A CT Scan of the brain was done.
Xray of his rib cage, which was hurting.
They started treating him and NOT insisting on Payment First.
24 Hours have passed and he is recovering.
His iphone was intact.
Not a single rupee missing from his wallet.
Not a single item of value missing.
My home full of antiques was NOT robbed.
The Police was polite and courteous.
When I told them that we will not be able to report to the Shakespeare Road Police Station they did NOT insist.
Friends from automobile helped to lift the two-wheeler and park it in a nearby safe place.
Who were these people who first came to his help,
called the police,
reached him home ,
paid the cab out of their pocket ?
I DO NOT know any of them.
This is Calcutta I always knew.
This is Calcutta I stayed behind.
This is Calcutta I love.
And as Mrinal Sen said in his film :
“…eia bichitra sahar ka lok hai Bhuvan Shome”
Thank You All.
Now there is a law to protect those who help road accident victims
The annual death toll on Indian roads is over 1,40,000 and almost 70,000 lives can be saved if bystanders volunteer to help.
In March 2016 the Supreme Court finally gave its approval to the Central government’s notification which provides protection to the Good Samaritans or the people, who help victims of road accident by taking them to a hospital or reporting about the incident.
A bench comprising justices V. Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra directed the Centre to give wide publicity to the guidelines.
The law ensures that reporting a road accident to police or taking a victim to the hospital will not be a harrowing experience for Good Samaritans. This order was passed to save the lives of hundreds of road accident victims in the country as people often avoid helping them fearing that they will be harassed by police and other agencies.
The Union Road Transport Ministry has added a significant clause under which a Good Samaritan’s affidavit will have the legal force of a statement. If a statement is required, it should be recorded in a single examination. This is applicable only to those who want to be witnesses, for the guidelines say the police should not compel them to disclose their particulars or to be witnesses.
Additionally, the Delhi government has announced a reward for good samaritans.
The Logical Indian Take
It cannot be stressed enough about the importance of bystander intervention. Statistics have also proved that medical care during the first critical hour averts major harm.
The bystanders, in this case, were empathetic enough and it is due to their efforts that a major damage was avoided. It is an inspiration to all of us and compels us to think, what we want to be – onlookers, opportunists or a helper.
The Logical Indian applauds the efforts of all those who helped Abhishek during his time of need and serving a very good example for the rest of us.