Mangalore: The Ugly Truth - Is the City Losing its Humanity?
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Jul 1: A couple of days back, two of my friends and I were passing by Lighthouse Hill road in the evening. The time was around 7.45 pm, and it was pouring heavily. So we had decided to take an auto rickshaw.
Just as we passed by the Lighthouse building, my friend panicked. She told us that there was a man lying unconscious on the pavement. The auto driver just casually looked back and sensing the trouble that he would have to take if involved in such cases, continued to drive without stopping.
Confusion and panic engulfed us as we asked the driver why he did not stop the rickshaw. ’Leave it madam. We will get in trouble if we help. And you are three girls. Just go home’. This was his cold reply. We literally froze for a second under the coldness of his tone, but immediately regained our composure. I asked my friends if they were ready to help. And as like minds think alike, even they had thought of the same thing. Irritated and angry with the driver, we immediately alighted from the auto, trying to hammer at least some sense of compassion into him. But to no avail.
As we ran back to see the condition of the man, we were shocked by what we saw. The man was lying unconsciously on the pavement bleeding profusely from the head for god knows how long, and there were about 8 to 10 onlookers. They were doing nothing except surrounding his suffering body and commenting on the ‘possibilities’ of what might have happened to him. ’It is 100% sure that he is drunk’ commented one of them. Then a huge discussion followed about the ill effects of drinking and walking in the rain. The coldness of the onlookers might have further deepened his wound.
We could not digest all these things. We just burst out at the onlookers. ‘Can’t any of you call the police and ambulance rather than just commenting?’ I screamed. ‘Madam, we are trying to call the police, but it is engaged’ was the indifferent reply of one of the onlooker. He was so ignorant that only then did he take out his phone from his pocket. Infuriated with all this, I picked my phone to call the ambulance. Call it male ego or chauvinism or whatever, the moment they realized that 3 girls were taking charge of the situation, the guys started to react. Their disagreement with the situation could be clearly ‘read out’ from their faces. They pacified us telling that they were calling the ambulance at that time. And voila! The moment they tried they got through the line, not engaged, not busy, not even close!
It was raining heavily and the victim was lying in the rain, cold and almost frozen. We desperately wanted to help. But since he was bleeding, we were a bit apprehensive to move him lest his bleeding would increase if his position was altered. My friend kept our umbrellas by his head and body so that he would not get further wet in the rain. By then seeing us 3 girls standing along with a bunch of guys,2 young ladies came and inspected the situation and started to help. Finally we had the support of 2 more people of the ‘female’ gender. They stood with us throughout. Still, no police, no ambulance.. As time passed it was so cold that the blood that had gushed to the pavement from his head had started to clot into a lump. By then a few more onlookers crowded the place out of which only two were ready to help. One man with a scooter was a blessing in disguise. We requested him to go to the nearby hospital and inform ambulance. He did so immediately. All this while, the man lay on the floor, occasionally moving momentarily out of pain . We waited for about a couple of minutes and unable to stand the victim’s condition, my friend and another classmate of hers rushed to the hospital. Within about 5 minutes, the police arrived on scene and took control f the traffic. Within less than 10 minutes, 2 ambulances arrived. The scene was wound up when the man was taken to the hospital and some good soul went along with him.
For many, this might just be yet another incident that happens on a daily basis. For me, I had personally encountered such an incident for the first time in my life. What depressed and shocked me more than the victim was the coldness and indifference of the onlookers. In a situation where people were supposed to help irrespective of whether the person was drunk or knocked down, all they could think of to do was mock at the situation and hold debates.
Why don’t these people even think that, tomorrow, if we are faced with the same situation, people would just react the same way as they did?
When asked why they were not ready to help, all the onlookers had one common reply ‘Madam, if we help, the police will catch us. We can’t even so much as touch this person.’ Okay, so if you don’t want to touch the person, why don’t you at least try to call the ambulance so that they would help? “Madam, you don’t know our system. If we call, that means we are in trouble.’ Was all they could say.
Pondering over the situation, I still wonder as to who is at fault here. Is it the police and the judicial system that is paving way to such injustice and ignorance? Or is it the age old mindset of the society that has resulted in such inhumanity?
Is it this ‘society’ that our parents tell that we have to be bothered about? Is it this heartless attitude that we have to adapt to?
What was more disheartening to see was that majority of the onlookers were young bloods. College boys and the like. Even the youth of today are enveloped within their own selfish cocoon.
Many might reason with them, telling that because we were girls, we were not put in trouble and so on. But honestly, from what we saw, the police were very cooperative and they totally took charge of the situation once they arrived. Not one person was questioned or accused in a wrong way. Again, you might argue that this was just one case where the police acted sensibly. But my question is, whatever be our system, if all the people gathered there at that time stood together, would the police have accused all of those onlookers of inflicting harm on that victim? If all had joined hands in helping the peron immediately, perhaps he wouldn’t have had to suffer so much. But again, I would not like to generalize by saying that all people are heartless. There are loads of good Samaritans out there who work for the cause. But in this case, there were only 3 or 4 good souls who helped us out of the huge crowd that had gathered.
My only request to all the people out there is that next time, before you turn your head away from such a situation, just picture yourself or your dear ones in that position. Can we bear our loved ones being treated with so much cruelty?What would you have done? Think from the heart at times, and act accordingly.
As for the whereabouts of the victim, I am still trying to find out where he is admitted and what his condition is. I keep my fingers crossed and hope and pray for positive news.
Image for display purpose only and has no bearing with the incident reported.
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