By Anugraha Hadke:
About four years ago, as any other day, I stood at the bus stop waiting for my usual DTC bus to take me home from college. Except this time, I landed up in the hospital, as the DTC bus ran over my leg. Luckily, several people came forward to help me, lent me a phone so that I could contact my parents, and even called for medical assistance. A very nice lady even accompanied me till the hospital and stayed till someone from my family reached. She never told us her name, I have no idea who she was, she just disappeared the moment my family arrived. To this day, I regret not being able to thank her for her help and support.
In this extremely driven world, we tend to mind our own businesses a little too much. There are very few of us who would actually come forward to help someone in trouble, especially if there is a legal procedure lurking behind it. Like I said, I was lucky enough to get that help, but even then, she preferred to remain an anonymous hero, and I understand why. She didn’t want to get embroiled in the court case (which only ended this year) that followed, or be constantly questioned by the authorities.
Often, those rare good Samaritans who do step forward, are pestered by the police, or dragged into court cases for their involvement in the incident. And that is probably the reason a lot of people don’t extend that helping hand to a fellow citizen. Who would want to do a good deed if they were going to be punished for it?
This is why an order issuing guidelines aimed to safeguard these do-gooders is a big reason to rejoice. As a result of a case filed by the SaveLIFE Foundation, the Central Government, as ordered by the Supreme Court, have brought out a set of guidelines that would protect any good Samaritan who comes forward to help a victim of a road accident. Under the order, anyone who brings an injured person to the hospital will not be forced to reveal their identity, or be liable under any legal proceeding. Not only this, the bystanders who came forward would be rewarded suitably, which will hopefully encourage others to follow suit.
All public and private hospitals have been mandated to follow these guidelines or risk penalty. These guidelines are to be held true till a proper legislation safeguarding them is put into place.
One can only sincerely hope that this emboldens all citizens to help anyone injured in a road accident, that others are as lucky as I was in getting the care I needed. As for the nice lady, I thank you for stepping up to help me. Because of you, I now have the courage and integrity to help someone else.