It happened on a Friday morning.
I was driving to work. As I turned on Prabhat Road, I saw a Scooter and the rider lying on the road. A few people, including a woman, were trying to help that person. They lifted the girl and gently put her on the sidewalk. Cars in front of me were getting impatient. As my car inched forward I realized that while there were a number of good Samaritans, none of the cars had stopped.
I halted at the corner and reached out to the woman who was trying to talk to the girl. I said I would take her to Hospital – just down the road. The girl was in severe pain, unable to move her leg. And suddenly I heard a whisper – “Abhay Uncle…”. I looked at her. Her face was upside down at the edge of the sidewalk. It took me a fraction of a second to recognize her. “NEHA! Don’t worry. We are going to the hospital right away.” I parked her scooter nearby. We put her in the car and drove to the Hospital.
To cut the long story short, there were no injuries or fracture. Neha is convalescing at home.
I was glad that I could help. However, waiting outside the Emergency room, many uncomfortable thoughts crossed my mind. I was trying to probe – or rather, test – myself with a number of scenarios. How do I generally react when I see an accident?
… I need not stop. There is always somebody to help. I need not feel guilty.
… I would have stopped and helped if I were not in hurry.
… Let some Rickshaw carry the hurt person to Hospital.
… My car would get messy with blood and grime.
… Police will arrive shortly and handle it. You see, they harass people who help. They make them visit the Police Station and Court for months!
Imagine a dark night, a deserted road and, say, I spot a man lying on the road, writhing in pain and bleeding profusely.
… I have not taken the responsibility of taking care of every accident that I see. It’s unfortunate – but that’s that persons destiny!
… It could be a trap. If I stop there is a chance that it may put me and my family in grave danger.
… Nobody would know that I saw it and did not help.
Don”t take me wrong. This is not about preaching what one ought to do when one sees an accident. But I would definitely argue that we need to question ourselves. We need to cross examine ourselves. Don’t we tend to exaggerate what could go wrong and hence justify the easy way out? Here are some questions that could help us take a rational decision.
… Is there really any risk if I help the victim?
… How much time it will take to help?
… Do I really know the cases first hand where Police have harassed the person(s) who helped?
… If I had stopped and spent, say, half a day to help every serious accident victim that I saw – how much of my time it would have taken?
… If I can’t stop, what is the next best thing I could do to help?
… If the accident were to happen to me – what would I expect from the onlookers?
Keen observation of one’s own thoughts and actions is a very powerful technique of self realization. Keep questioning yourself from time to time. How am I doing? Why I am doing what I am doing? Should I be doing the things in a different way? Do I want others to do this to me?
Watch thyself. It is very fulfilling to be true to oneself. Do you agree?
(P.S. Just saw this link – looks useful.)