“When in dire health crisis call at 101”I think we are all cognizant of this communiquÃ©, but its efficacy was put to trial, recently, by a well meaning socially responsible lad of Delhi university. 101 is the emergency medical help number in Delhi and other states.This is the number Karan(name changed)dialed a few weeks back to help a half dead man lying on the street near his college in the North campus of Delhi University. The unfortunate man had his skull half open with a thousand flies thronging around his open wound. He was alive and breathing and was probably counting his last breath. The man’s woeful plight catapulted the youth in question, into proactive execution and compelled him to call for an ambulance and the police. Karan explained the whole situation to the helpline responder and the response he got was belligerent and unfavourable.He was turned down and the response was-“One of our ambulances has a punctured tyre and the other one is out to another place.” Karan was extremely disconcerted and let down .On close probing he and his friends found a private hospital and approached the authorities for assistance .Here too his appeal was met with unceremonious rebuff. On explaining the whole situation the hospital authorities told him to find the victim another place as all their doctors were busy. This seemed a way to escape being involved with an unknown and probably a medico legal case. But Karan had only wanted them to pitch in and provide the necessary aid in the emergency situation.
Out of anger and outrage Karan called up the police, which arrived 45 minutes late. The police was unaccommodating and declined the request to pick up the body and told Karan to do it himself. Karan and 2 of his friends picked up the body and placed it in the PCR van, which then took off to a Government hospital.
This is not where it ends. The impassive imbroglio led Karan to take an expedient action. Helpless agony gave expression to seething anger and Karan went to the hospital (which refused to admit the victim) and started breaking their van. To him the ambulance standing in the walkway of the hospital was a mockery to the Hippocrates oath which every doctor takes while graduating out of the med school and pledges to serve the needy with out discrimination. He smashed their ambulance lights, windows and siren with his hands. The hospital authorities, out of shame did not intervene, although the police did. But by then, hundreds of students had gathered in his support, so nothing happened.
While recalling the incident, with hindsight Kara said, “This incident has been a profound learning experience. We make a living by what we get; but make a life by what we give. I have realized that our system has finite failures but I will not lose in finite hope. Never expect things to happen …..struggle and make them happen. But yes charged situations need us to respond and not react. I should have exercised some restrain on my explicit expression. My future calling is to join mainstream politics and attempt to be the harbinger of change —a change to see every youth becoming socially responsible and developing an enquiring disposition regarding not just the rights they must enjoy but the duties they must render. This may be a humble contribution but then every drop counts to fill the ocean………”