Tuesday 25 March 2014

Humanity switch on, switch off

Humanity: Switch On, Switch Off

The humane side of humans is quite confusing. Most of us are not that bad. But most of us are often too lazy or uninformed or busy. So on March 20 2014, another train derailment happened in Mumbai. Yeah, I already wrote about it in my blog. But this time, I decided to voice my concern again.

If you are not aware of the incident, let me tell you in brief. A local train derailed, yet again. Many were injured. One guy was killed. Yes, killed, I will prefer not to use the term 'died' here and you will know why.
Dhaval, an HSC student, was 17-year old and had just completed his board exams. Reportedly, it took 90 minutes for medical help to arrive. But there were people around who kept clicking photos instead of helping out the guy. His friend singlehandedly tried to get help but it is not an easy task when your friend is bleeding and you are in shock with the sudden turn of events. Finally a couple of journalists helped create a makeshift stretcher and helped him reach the hospital. He was declared dead on arrival. Let's forget blaming the railway authorities for once and look within ourselves.

They say too many people gathered and were clicking pictures. Let's assume there were just three onlookers. And the one friend who tried his best. So four of them. Here's what could have happened. Here's how, perhaps, Dhaval could have been saved.

In 5 minutes: Two of them could have together lifted the guy. One could have asked people to clear way to reach the road.
In another 10 mins max: One could have dialled helplines / hospitals and other could have got a rickshaw / taxi / lift to the nearest hospital.
In another 15 minutes max, they could have reached a hospital / dispensary.
In another 10 minutes: A doctor could have attended him and taken it from there.
Total: 40 minutes to medical attention.

That day, 90 minutes were wasted waiting for medical help. I do not blame the friend, it must have been too tough for him to think of an idea in that situation. If I was in his place, I would have only hoped for help and hope that medical team will arrive in next five minutes, more five minutes, more five minutes...

But people who had the presence of mind to click photographs, did not have the presence of mind or humanity to help. I am not saying they were not good people. But could they not understand the severity of the situation? Would they have continued updating posts on Facebook if  their brother was lying in front of them? It's a shame.
Why am I writing this? Well, this is just a preparatory post. So that, God forbid, the next time you come across a situation like this, you don't waste a second. You have been told what can be done. Instead of clicking pics, stand there for a couple of minutes, clear your head and think, "How can I help this person in the fastest manner?"

Share this solution. Or add your tips here. Now.

Few years ago, I witnessed a woman dying after meeting with a weird train accident as no medical help arrived. People gathered then too. But three of us, total strangers and youngsters back then, did all we could to save her, as quickly as we could. Some rickshaws did not agree to ferry us with her. We begged them, screamed at them and managed to get one as soon as we could. Unfortunately, she was declared dead when we reached Cooper hospital. I can never forget that. I will live knowing that I could not save that woman. But at least I do not live with the guilt of not trying.

So try when you can, help when you can. And be quick at that. You have been told and prepared. Keep the humane element in you alive and active.



  1. A great post with a real good thought behind it, Anuradha. I haven't witnessed any such situation myself but I have speculated much about such scenarios. We humans these days are so busy with our lives and updating our virtual lives that we forget that little thing called humanity. Most of us are busy clicking pictures and collecting likes by updating them on Facebook instead of being of real help. There was an incident i remember which happened here a couple of months back. A woman killed herself by hanging on a light post on an extremely busy street in the middle of the day. Not one of the thousands of people who passed her came forward to stop her as she made the noose, climbed and tied it around her. It is extremely sad how much humanity has deteriorated. Again, a very good post. Thanks for writing this. Sharing.

  2. mankind is so busy with their own juggles of life alas! they are ignoring other's plights. not realizing that their world actually revolves around all and not a handful of humans :(

    loved the title!

  3. Bang on Anuradha. I remember watching a video, a similar kind of situation. I asked my husband even then, why was this person busy taking a video instead of helping? It is a sad situation really.


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