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Old 1st April 2019, 12:50   #1
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Default Apathy of people in India

Accidents are something that happen quite frequently on our roads. Infact, if we look at (Pics: Accidents in India)Accidents in India thread on Team-BHP itself, there are close to 1900 pages. I will not indulge in blame-game or introspection, but want to highlight something that's absent in India, i.e. Sympathy.

On March 29th, Friday, my father was going for a client meeting, when he saw a barrage of people, clicking and making videos of something. He immediately realised that something grave has happened. Upon asking a few people, he got to know that two cars had a head-on collision, and both the drivers were lying on the road, begging for help! I don't want to disclose the names of the cars, but let me tell, both the cars from brands known for their supposed quality and indestructibility (most of the BHPians must have guessed it by now), and the airbags failed to deploy in either of the cars! My father went forward, and a middle-aged person was crying and begging for help. He didn't blink an eye, and decided to take the injured person to hospital. The injured person was within senses, but was crying with pain. He was taken to nearby hospital, where he gave his occupation and family details. My father called up his wife and colleagues, and told them what exactly happened, and that he is admitted in *XYZ* hospital. Again, I am refraining from disclosing the name of the hospital. Also, one thing that must be noted is that both the drivers were belted up, yet the airbags failed to deploy!

So, here is what exactly happened. Both the cars were cruising at healthy speeds, and there came a blind turn, where both the drivers failed to notice the oncoming cars, and had a head-on collision. As told earlier, airbags didn't deploy, and both the drivers lied down on the road, begging for help. One of the drivers was a lady, who was taken to hospital almost immediately by some gentleman. The other guy, who was taken to hospital by my father, stayed there for about 15 minutes, literally crying and begging for help. When my father tried asking for further help, he was told by the bystanders that he shouldn't help the injured, and that he should suffer because he was driving rash and all. Some people even cursed my father that why is he helping the injured, and that police might harass him later. My father took matters into his own hands and took him to the hospital.

When the injured was admitted to the hospital, his scans showed a fracture in the rib cage and some damage to his heart tissues (due to the strong force of impact, his chest had hit the steering of the car). Thanks to timely help, no internal bleeding happened. Incidentally, the other injured lady driver was admitted in the very same hospital. My father left for his office, when the injured person's wife came. My father visited the injured the next day as well, and he was told that both the injured are doing well, and will be discharged within a couple of weeks.

Now, I want to highlight one major point here. Why the hell do people of India lack empathy? It is totally okay if you're not willing to help. But why are you cursing and stopping someone who's coming forward to help? And what's this nonsense you're doing with your mobiles, clicking photos and making videos? These things don't anger me, they make me really sad. Have we, as humans stooped so low that instead of helping someone in need, we resort to these cheap thrills? Where are we heading as a society, with total lack of etiquette?

According to a petition in 2012 and during the hearing of this petition, the Supreme Court instructed the Government of India to pass guidelines that would encourage bystanders to help victims of accidents.

On 13th May 2015 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways explicitly said that "a good samaritan who takes an accident victim to a hospital will not be asked any questions and can leave immediately. He/she cannot be forced to stay unless they are an eyewitness in which case only their address can be noted."

I am extremely proud of what my father did, I realised how timely medical help can save someone's life. He went out of his way to help the injured. I have vowed, god forbid, if I see someone in a spot of bother on the road, I too shall do what my father did.

Note to mods: This is not an appreciation post, and I have deliberately not mentioned the location of accident, and names of cars, people and the hospital.
Also, please merge this post with an appropriate thread, if there exists one on this. I couldn't find one.

Warm Regards

Last edited by Samurai : 1st April 2019 at 15:40. Reason: typo fixed
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Old 1st April 2019, 13:27   #2
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Thank you for bringing this topic up. Our apathy originally has been driven by the risk of police harassment. This has got so ingrained into our collective psyche that we assume helping others will land us in a several years of trouble. And we have not out grown that. To add to this are our perverse sadistic desires to get 2-paisa thrills at the expense of another. It is bad social civic sense at its worst and as a society we have to look ourselves in the mirror.

Maybe the Moderators can make this thread one where good Samaritans can post their experiences for the benefit of all readers.
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Old 1st April 2019, 13:33   #3
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Your dad did the right thing! sincere thanks to him for helping the victims!

Trust me, it's a very basic cultural thing running in our blood. A mistake, blame the victim first for having invited it! Happens not just when an accident happens, this blaming goes happense almost in all walks of life!!

We fail to think rationally, period. We go with the heat of the moment, we neither have the patience to analyze what led to an eventuality, nor the basic education to understand how it could have been avoided. A road devoid of traffic is a piece of selfish indulgence for most of us. Shamelessly whipping to the last horses our modest machines could belt out!

My honest opinion, scrap the whole licensing process with immediate effect. Bring in a stringent process to certify people who can drive on real roads. People applying for license should first enroll for a rigorous time bound driving and traffic course and get certified to even apply for a license. Make it as bullet proof as any other certification program. Meanwhile, please bring international traffic management advisors to plan and redo our highways and roads to meet minimum international standards!

Last edited by vinair : 1st April 2019 at 13:34.
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Old 1st April 2019, 13:46   #4
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Oh believe me, when you step in and try to help someone in need on the roads, chances are you can't if you don't have your own car nearby. Not a soul will step in to help. Or you should just call an ambulance. But I had an instance where an ambulance was not needed and I was on my motorcycle. I just couldn't get help. Quoting myself from an older post on a different thread -

Quote:
I've just arrived an hour late at work.

Riding to office on my motorcycle, I spotted an old man with a walking stick, ambling along right at the center of the Perumbakkam-Sholinganallur main road. Traffic was milling around him like water around a rock in its path. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone ran him down.

So I parked a bit further away and was able to get him seated on the pavement. He was quite incapable and had a broken cheekbone or something like that. I couldn't understand whatever he spoke. 45 minutes went by and not a single autowallah would help. I walked further to ask a cop what to do. En route, I spotted a shopkeeper fretting over my parked motorcycle blocking his doorway. While I moved it a bit, I told him what'd happened nearby and cursed out aloud "this city is cold and soulless".

Further along, the cop said the patrol car will drop him at home only if I can get a phone number or an address out of the old man. So I walked back, only to be pleasantly surprised by the same shopkeeper in front of whom I had cursed this city. He said, having talked to the old man, he knew where he lived. He will be taken home, I was assured. I left from the spot.

I had hit a raw nerve, apparently, to spur the shopkeeper into action. Well, whatever it takes to awaken the humans in us... Glad to have gotten the old man away from sureshot harm.

This kind of a social phenomenon is called social loafing in management jargon. Everyone thought he was someone else's problem and ultimately no one helped him. There are stories like this from all around the world, of traffic passing by while accident victims lay unattended. So I know it wasn't fair of me to curse this city and its people; but I'll tell you what - I got a glimpse into a frightening reality concerning all of mankind this morning; we can be very selfish. Make no mistake, I've driven by abandoned or lost pets huddled along the median on city roads scores of times. I remember that one time a crying girl was seated alone on the median in Mount Road; she can't have been older than 2 years old. I knew that there were souls in need out there, but I've driven right by. So I'm no saint, no doubt about that.

Taken as a whole, we can be quite cold and soulless.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/stree...ml#post4482250 (Traffic and life on the road in Chennai)
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Old 1st April 2019, 14:03   #5
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

I dunno actually. The few times I've seen accidents happen on Bangalore roads and the 2-3 times I've had falls on the bike, I've seen people rushing to help, and have received help myself from other road users.

It could be that people are more willing to help when the injury is minimal, perhaps they are more reluctant in the case of a major accident.

Either way, I think wider publicity for the 'Good Samaritan law' passed in our country that protects people who help accident victims from harassment would help.

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/indi...ps-357455.html
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Old 1st April 2019, 14:27   #6
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsav3010 View Post
Accidents are something that happen quite frequently on our roads. <snip>
Now, I want to highlight one major point here. Why the hell are people of India so much empathetic?
<snip> I couldn't find one.
Warm Regards
Very valid concern, appreciate for calling out.

Perhaps some people (shamefully & squeamishly, I've to admit this too) are bit uneasy in seeing/handling others in so much pain and with bodily harm or missing/injured limbs etc.? I know that's no valid excuse when it's important to try & save a life.

And, sorry for being grammar police - guess you meant the opposite of underlined text above.

Last edited by KrisTvpm : 1st April 2019 at 14:29. Reason: minor grammar correction
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Old 1st April 2019, 14:58   #7
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Very good topic Utsav3010. Just two days back I was reading about a 12 year old girl who lost her life after an accident while the bystanders were happily recording everything on their phones. Sometimes it make you think whether the cost a human life is less than a cellphone video in our country.

As similar incident to your father had happened to us. In our case the bystanders were actually helpful.

Quote:
My wife & I were returning from a marriage ceremony at around 11.30pm. Just 2 kms before our home, we found an Ambassador which had hit the divider. There were around 10 people around it. We would have probably not stopped that late in the night fearing it might be a trap but since I saw approx. 10 people standing & helping out, We thought of helping.

I immediately parked my car on the side & went to see the situation. The car was Chauffer driven. On the front seat was a middle aged man with his around 12 year old daughter. On the back seat were 3 ladies & a gentlemen. Judging by the attire I realized that they were coming back from some marriage as well. Till that time people had managed to open the front passenger side door & got the Father-daughter out (All doors had got jammed due to the accident). Father had minor visible bruises but the little girl was bleeding profusely from her head. I immediately took out my handkerchief & gave it to the father to cover the girl's head injury. In the meanwhile I saw that people had managed to open a rear door. A lady (girls mother) jumped out to see her daughter not realizing she was bleeding from her forehead too.

I asked the father-mother & daughter to come into my car. My wife gave them water & we were off to the nearest hospital. My wife called the emergency & got the stretchers ready. Got mother & daughter admitted. By this time a police sergeant had come to the hospital. I explained him the whole situation. He thanked me & told me report it again by dialing 100. Not sure why he wanted me to do that. I gave the father my number & told him to call me if there is a problem. I left the scene around 12.30om & came back home.

Two days later got call from the father thanking me for the help. On inquiring, he told me that his daughter & wife are in the hospital but doing fine.

Felt relieved.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...ml#post3655314 (Pics: Accidents in India)


Cheers,

Pawan
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Old 1st April 2019, 15:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisTvpm View Post
And, sorry for being grammar police - guess you meant the opposite of underlined text above.
Indeed this is a grammatical error on my part. I meant to say 'why the hell do people lack empathy?'.

And yes, your point is absolutely valid, some people cannot see others with bodily harm , which is alright. My concern and anger pertains to people who stop others from helping the injured.

Thanks to all the people who have replied to this thread. Somehow, the multi-quote function isn't working right now for me, so I am not able to reply at the moment.

Also, it's heartening to see people saying that a few cases do exist, where bystanders come out and help the injured victims. It took me more than 22 years to realise how someone's timely help can save a life, and a family as well.

As for this habit being culturally imbibed in our blood, I couldn't agree more. There exist certain people, who just don't feel like helping, but are the first ones to jump the queue and participate in the blame-game saga.

Thanks to all of you for your inputs. Also, pls suggest how to use multi-quote function. It is just not working.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 1st April 2019 at 15:56. Reason: Back to back posts
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Old 1st April 2019, 15:59   #9
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

While going through this thread, recalled an incident that happened around 11 years back, this was way before the regulations to protect good samaritans came into effect.

My father was driving in Mangalore and happened to pass by an accident spot where a marriage party van had collided with a heavy vehicle. Without blinking, he took as many injured/unconscious people as he could fit in the car to the nearest hospital and never faced any issues or harassment from anyone though he had to take the car to a relative's place to wash off all the blood and clean the car thoroughly and then it was fine.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 4th April 2019 at 15:45. Reason: Spacing
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Old 1st April 2019, 16:02   #10
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

1. Absolute Lack of civic sense, even among knowledgeable urban crowd.
2. Fear of law enforcement.

Two of these main factors contribute to the problem. Infact civic sense is much much better in villages, then urban crowd.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 09:26   #11
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsav3010 View Post
'And yes, your point is absolutely valid, some people cannot see others with bodily harm , which is alright. My concern and anger pertains to people who stop others from helping the injured.
Like everyone else, you are assuming that "mankind" is/was always good.. history has taught exactly the opposite. Saying this does not make me a misanthrope (although given the state of society today, it is safer to be one), it only makes me practical.

Man like all other animals is a survivor, a very basic observation, right after Isaac Newton "observing" an apple fall. One also classifies it as "natural selection". It is because of this very fact that we must take all precautions for our well-being, for example as far as vehicular interaction goes, we must drive/ride safe, wear helmet/seatbelts as applicable and also carry things required for emergencies.

If one wants to break the chain of apatheticness, the only way forward is to just stop, help out as required without ego getting in the way and doing what is best for the helpless. Just to quote as an example, I saw a biker getting into an accident.. a crowd did swarm around him, each putting forth their unscientific views of lifting/dragging him, I simply got out, made sure he is gingerly shifted to the extreme side of the road, told them NOT to move him further by lifting or dragging, made sure he had some water to drink and also told the truck driver who caused the accident to take him cautiously to a nearby hospital so that everything may be checked. I left thereafter.

BTW, this is not just an India thing.. yes it may be slightly better abroad but the population there is like 1/10th of India, if not much lesser, and the education/safety awareness in Europe & America is much higher with laws supporting and enforcing that. The problem in India is lack of safety awareness and paparazzo mentality.. even a guy with torn pants and no shirt will pull out his Rs.2000/- Chinese phone of 6/7 inches here to record and forward as a WhatsApp message. People are interested in other people's lives here and they leverage a very vicarious approach to add spice to their life.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 09:49   #12
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

I believe most people on the road are helpful but all out there are inquisitive, hence in case of an accident / breakdown some will offer to help while others will just stand observe and comment. Mobile Phones have made it worse, as most people just start recording. Guessing they want to deliver the update fastest through Whats-app or other mediums.

In my case it depends on the circumstances and who my co passengers are.

1) I once saw a guy slipping on the DND flyover in Delhi at around 11 PM. I stopped, put him in my car and took him to the hospital. I did it because I saw it happen and it was a safe road. Would I stop for an accident victim anywhere on the Meerut highway ater 10PM when I don't see anyone else around. No.

2) Me and my wife were doing a Rajasthan road trip, we were nearing Jodhpur at around midnight when we saw a GJ registration car parked on the side with a couple and 2 children inside, we stopped and gave the family a lift till Jodhpur while their car got towed. Would I have stopped if there were 2 guys in the broken-down car. No

I quoted the above 2 scenarios as these are the most likely ones, Indians everywhere are generally helpful but these days everyone is getting skeptical as the rotten apples have ensured that even the genuine victims wait for help as no one stops if the environment is unsafe.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 4th April 2019 at 15:46. Reason: Spacing
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Old 3rd April 2019, 11:04   #13
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsav3010 View Post
I will not indulge in blame-game or introspection, but want to highlight something that's absent in India, i.e. Sympathy.
Thanks for sharing this Utsav! You have touched quite a nerve and I hope this post brings about a positive change in people's attitude.

Quote:
He didn't blink an eye, and decided to take the injured person to hospital. The injured person was within senses, but was crying with pain. He was taken to nearby hospital, where he gave his occupation and family details. My father called up his wife and colleagues, and told them what exactly happened, and that he is admitted in *XYZ* hospital.
Kudos to your father for doing this. One of the most concerns I have during a road trip is the timely help incase of any mishap. Its folks like your dad who are the real heroes out there who go about helping those in need without a second thought.

Quote:
Some people even cursed my father that why is he helping the injured, and that police might harass him later. My father took matters into his own hands and took him to the hospital.
Sadly, blame it on perception or the thought of getting into some sort of police trouble most people encourage not helping. That said, this is usually the case when people see rashly driven cars / ignorant drivers who themselves are to blame. This doesn't mean one should be judgemental on the victims, rather we should get them timely help and let the authorities handle everything else.

Quote:
Now, I want to highlight one major point here. Why the hell do people of India lack empathy? It is totally okay if you're not willing to help. But why are you cursing and stopping someone who's coming forward to help? And what's this nonsense you're doing with your mobiles, clicking photos and making videos?
Regarding empathy, my personal experience tells me that people want to stay disconnected from others. Unless somehow you know the person involved in the mishap - in which case we will spring in to help. Further, we don't have proper help at hand which makes help by bystanders even more critical. We live in place where you can get a pizza in 30 mins but an ambulance will take its own sweet time.

City specific behaviour is also quite varying. Having lived in Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai, I can definitely say that people of Mumbai have relatively higher empathy than other places (Ofcourse this is my personal experience only).

With a smartphone or two with every person, sharing phots and videos has becomes super easy! After all India is one of the few places where Whatsapp took out full page ads to check forwarded messages before sharing with others.
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Old 4th April 2019, 10:51   #14
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

OP, your dad did the absolute right thing but the apathy is definitely not always without solid reason. Police harassment is (was?) definitely real.

Let me tell you a true story. Around 15 years ago, when I was a student riding my motorbike in full riding gear and lights switched on early in the morning, a vegetable vendor on his tvs swerved into me from a wrong turn on a one way street. Once I picked up my motorbike and noticed him bleeding, I got help and admitted him in a hospital. Since the man seemed to be from a poor background, my father even paid some of the initial medical bills. What followed was a harassment and extortion I do not want anyone to relive ever for the crime of helping him get medical attention.

So the next time I see an unknown accident victim, though I will report it to the police and not be stupid to click videos or photos unnecessarily, I am not personally getting involved, thank you very much.

Though much of the apathy seems to be a result of the density of population, instances like this make it much easier to be cold towards loss of limb and life on the road. Add to this the quick action response of a mob and you're ALWAYS inviting trouble for yourself by helping someone in need.
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Old 4th April 2019, 11:00   #15
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Default Re: Apathy of people in India

My dad's colleague had a very bad experience playing the good samaritan. It happened sometime 15~20 years back. He took an accident victim to hospital and the police booked him only for the accident. Police logic was "Since you have brought him to the hospital, you only must have hit him". All the good samaritan logic fell on deaf years. Finally, he knew someone, who knew someone, who knew the local MLA, and that's how he managed to get out of the police net. But he still swears till date that he is not going to help any more accident victims.

It so happened after few years, that some youngsters in a jeep hit my brother's motorcycle. However, rather than running away, they brought him to a hospital where he got the treatment within proper time. Although my mother was angry on those boys, but most of us managed to calm her down that we should let the boys go without a police case since they have ensured proper medical attention for him.

But, by and large most of the Indians are afraid to help due to police harassment .
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