Delhi Police officer, Inspector Rita Budakoti, rushed an accident victim lying on the road to AIIMS Trauma Center last month. Though the victim, 29-year-old Amit Goyal, died, the hospital acknowledged her act as a ‘Good Samaritan’, a spirit which the Delhi government and the medical fraternity want citizens to imbibe.
However, it is easier said than done, especially due to the fear of ‘police hassles’. The numbers are revealing. More than 800 people have died in road accidents in Delhi so far this year, many of them breathing their last at the accident sites, without even getting a chance to fight for life in hospital because people have not stepped in to help.
Incidentally, Budakoti received her ‘Good Samaritan’ certificate on Tuesday, a day before an accident victim bled to death on a road in west Delhi. CCTV footage showed several people passing by the victim without stopping to help. One person stopped, but only to steal the victim’s mobile phone lying on the road.
Budakoti, Inspector (Investigation) at Sarojini Nagar police station, concedes that people do not want to be witnesses in accident cases and that is why they hesitate to come to the aid of victims. “The public should at least take the victim to the nearest hospital. They shouldn’t fear police. Like in this case, the man (Goyal) was lying on the flyover near Defence Colony and the public watched… made videos, but none came forward to help.”
A tourist bus had rammed Goyal’s bike when he was on his way to office on July 25. Budakoti said she was heading for a hearing in the High Court that day when she saw a gathering on the other side of the road. “I made a U-turn and saw a man lying there, bleeding… I asked some of the people to help, but no one did. I put him in my jeep and took him to AIIMS Trauma Center,” she said.
Dr Nirmal Thakur, PRO of AIIMS Trauma Center, said there were very few instances of passersby bringing in accident victims. “In 2014 there were more than 3,500 accidents in Delhi, with a major of them being road accidents. While most of the victims were brought by their relatives and police, only two passersby had brought victims to this hospital.”
Thakur said once a few children had brought a victim to the hospital, but she made sure the children were not harassed. “After the Supreme Court ruling, the law is clear that good samaritans will not be harassed. We wanted to acknowledge Inspector Rita’s work and presented her a certificate. All stakeholders should come forward and create awareness,” she added.
Goyal’s younger brother Sumit said he had seen footage of the accident victim lying on the west Delhi street and it had reminded him of his brother’s accident. “My brother was lying there too. People should have helped him. He was going to get married in November.”
Incidentally, a day after the west Delhi accident, the Delhi government announced a plan to launch a ‘Good Samaritan Scheme’ under which people taking accident victims to hospitals will be rewarded.
35-yr-old man dies in west Delhi hit-and-run
In another case of hit-and-run, a pawn broker died after his scooty was hit by a car Friday night in west Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh. While the accused driver fled the spot, passersby alerted police. The victim, Nilesh (35), was taken to Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, where he was declared dead. A resident of Shalimar Bagh, Nilesh is survived by his wife and 10-month-old child.
Police said Nilesh was carrying Rs 25,000 when he left home. The money, his watch and helmet are missing, police added.