Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Sunday accident

This note was written on Sunday, 31-10-2010.

Had an interesting and sad experience today. While going out on a long drive with family (at 3 pm), I saw a motorcycle driver on Indore Bypass (near Truba college) lying on the road, bleeding profusely from the head. He had just met with an accident, and when we crossed by, I could see him trying to call for help (while lying on the street). People from nearby HP Petrol Pump and Dhaba had begin to gather around him.

I sensed that the accident must have happened barely 3 or 4 minutes ago. From the looks of it, the motorcycle was coming from the other side of the road (perpendicularly) and the car that hit it could not see it come, and hit it. That car had vanished by now, leaving just the fallen back bumper on the site. The victim was not wearing any helmet.

My family was in very good mood today. But this accident suddenly changed everything. Having seen that man bleeding & lying helpless on the highway, there was no way we were driving away heartlessly.

Usually, you do not see blood dripping like water from someone's head. Perhaps a whole lifetime will pass by and most of us will never witness such a sight. So when one is confronted with that unexpected situation, the mind finds it difficut to react immediately. I guess that's what happens in most accident cases with most onlookers.

Around 50 people had gathered by now. Dazed. Stunned. Silent.

I parked my car safely a little distance away from the site of the accident. My son got very scared, and asked me what we are going to do. I said "we are not driving away, that's for sure. But let's wait a minute before I get down and do something about this."

I immediately called up the Police Control Room from my mobile phone. The number was 0731 - 100. Someone sensible did pick the phone up, and took my message properly. He was polite, had practical sense and advised me to call up the Emergency Ambulance Service on 108 number and inform them too. In the meantime, I could see that most people gathered aroung that man (lying on the street, bleeding) had started making calls from their own mobile phones. I could not see now if that man was still conscious / alive or not. But I assumed he must be.

I called up 108. I connected in the third attempt as I tried 0731 - 108 earlier. That does not work - it's just 108 you need to dial.

They actually picked the phone up, and the lady's voice was quite well-trained and professional. Without panicking she took down my entire message, and especially the location. It was fortunate that the site of the accident was bang opposite the Bharat Petroleum petrol pump, as that would make it easy for the Ambulance to pinpoint the spot without wasting any time.

The lady took my entire message, and then politely told me that an ambulance had already been sent to that spot, in response to another mobile call they had received a few minutes ago. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this.

Then I got down from my car. Interestingly, no other car had stopped on the road during all this. Only the people living nearby had gathered around that man, and he was still lying on the road. If he were grievously injured, it may be getting late for him, I thought.

I walked down the road to that man. It surprised me to notice the distance from my car to that man, as the mental distance I calculated while looking at that site in the side-rearview mirror seemed very less.

Upon reaching the place where the man lay, I saw many people waiting to do something, but nothing actually happening. Everyone was waiting for the police and/or the ambulance to arrive, and for the man to be taken away properly to a hospital.
I asked a big Saradrji on the spot - "is the ambulance going to arrive soon?" "Perhaps yes", was the reply. I volunteered to take the person into my car and to the hospital. People looked quizzically at me when I said this. I asked "which is the nearest hospital?" "They will never treat him properly unless the Police get involved now" came the reply from another onlooker. That surprised, and disgusted me. I was imagining that if someone dear to me were lying on the street like this - God forbid - then would such a delay be acceptable? Not at all. So why now?

The injured, meanwhile, fortunately was conscious, lying on the street patiently (and helplessly) and had called up his family on this mobile phone (that was miraculous).

Just when I was about to bring my car back to that spot so he could be taken to a hospital, we saw a police jeep arriving at the spot. I think this must have been the regular patrol jeep of the concerned Police Station (in whose jurisdiction this area lay). The jeep turned around (as it was coming from the other side of the road) and parked at the right point. Two policemen inside the jeep asked as to what had happened. The people present on the spot offered some explanation of the incidence. I told one of the policemen that perhaps we should take the person in their jeep to the hospital, as if the ambulance gets delayed, it may be too late for the injured.

To my surprise, the policemen volunteered to do that. They got down, opened the back door, and 6 of us picked that man up properly and slowly and properly made him lie down on the seat in the Jeep's backside. The policeman requested one of the onlookers to sit in the jeep and accompany them to the hospital. "We will drop you back soon here", they said.

No one volunteered. People are too scared to become a part of any such issue. That's so sad. The system enjoys such a bad reputation.

Just as the Police were about to drive away, the 108 Emergency Ambulance arrived, with flashing lights. It was interesting and surprising to see such a quick reponse, actually.

The injured man's face was all red with blood, by now. His body otherwise was seemingly unharmed. He screamed out when we moved him, and I guess his leg too was badly hurt.

Two men got down from that ambulance (not in any official dress), and quickly got into action. One of them got a stretcher (proper bed type with wheels) near the injured. We again removed the person from the police jeep and onto the strecher. They took him into the Ambulance and quickly drove away to the hospital.

I asked the policeman if things will be ok now.. to which he replied in affirmative. He said "ab sab kuchh fatafat ho jayega sahi tareeke sey."

All this happened in less than 25 minutes.

The blood on the street was starting to dry. The motorcycle had been moved to the side. The relatives of the person had begun arriving on the spot.

I wondered what it would be like if the response of the agencies was slower, or if it was night-time, or if no one had stopped to help.

While driving back in the late evening hours from the same spot, life was normal. It was as if nothing had ever happened on that spot just 4 hours ago. I did not notice the name or address of that victim, so I do not know what happened to him finally, but I guess the situation (and his condition) must have been under control.

Let's do whatever little we can for those in need. Tomorrow, it could be any one of us needing such help - God forbid.


Sasidhar said...

Yes Sandeep - people rarely want to get into mess - but will stand and watch. I appreciate your efforts and intention to assist. Lesson for all of us -

Akash said...

God Blesss Sir :)
You're always leading by example.

Pinakin Barot said...

Sir great job done to save one's life. Salute. However, it usually doesn't happen in accidental cases. Things get messed up. Such promptness is rarely seen.


Greetings sir,
You are a true gentleman and a great inspiration of humanity.

Kindness simply is the rent we must pay for the space we occupy on this planet.
Death is something inevitable..will encounter everyone.
As said by Norman cousins-
"The trajedy of life is not death but what we let die inside us while we lve."
so never let die the human nside of kind and you will know who will cry when you die.

Serve without stop...
love without reason..
purpose of lfe is..a life of purpose..
give more than you take..
money is waste kept in stake..
lets see of this life what we make..

Shreya khandelwal

Unknown said...

Everybody plays the blame game here in India as help in not quick in such situation. From my personal experience and from the one mentioned here I think there is still goodness in some of us. Some of us do stop stop by to help the one suffering. Not all are ignorant. The world isn't that bad yet.