Reward for Good Samaritan, Punishment for bad!
Not that this was the first of its kind, but the news of 18 years old youth of Karnataka dying after an accident while onlookers film went viral and for all good reasons. Despite court pushing people to act out of humanity and help people under such situations, provide them first aid, take them to hospital and be the Good Samaritan that gets paid for his generosity by the government, yet people are bent on being bad.
People are no longer empathetic towards a suffering soul. Likes, share, and retweets matter more than saving a life or at least try to bring him comfort. The boy was in bleeding agony, crying for help and people captured the 20 minutes footage as he died in pain. The Good Samaritan law and reward doesn’t seem to be enough. We need plans for the bad Samaritans too.For1. Lives could be saved
Fifty per cent of road accident deaths could be dodged if people rushed them to the hospitals. That is referred to as the golden hour. People could give them first aid or Basic life support (BLS). Breathing and cardiac functioning could be restored until help arrives. Unfortunately, people are least interested in these kinds of essential trainings. All they need is a smartphone to click and share.2. It is sadistic
Lack of empathy for another person, knowing that he is in acute agony and still finding pleasure in making videos of the incident is sadistic. This is a dangerous trend. Last year, a video footage of a 2 years old girl who accidently slipped and fell into the tracks of moving train started doing rounds. It was gory and enough to give someone sleepless nights. What kind of people is being bred who would find pleasure in making and sharing such videos?3. Make it legal to help victims
There are legal implications of not assisting police in the proceedings. Section 176 calls for punishment of up to one month jail for anyone who refuses to provide information to police about commission of a crime that he witnessed. If there could be legal implications of turning blind eye to an accident victim, perhaps people will find it in their hearts to help instead of making videos.4. Empathy ranking
The World Giving Index (WGI) 2016 which is an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation and based on data from Gallup’s World View World Poll, ranks India 91 among 140 countries on the scale of generosity. We are way behind Sri Lanka (5), Bhutan (18), Nepal (39), and just ahead of Pakistan (92) and Bangladesh (94). Is this where we belong? Our score on the parameter of “helping a stranger” is 43. It is 63 for Myanmar and 73 for US, which are 1st and 2nd respectively on the overall index. And we thought we were the most charitable of people who would offer generously to gods. Perhaps our generosity extends to gods only.Against1. People are afraid
The fear of being questioned at hospitals or of police blaming and interrogating them often creeps up. They fear legal implications even though there is clear rule to help and reward those that rush accident victims to the hospital on time.2. Untrained
When there is serious injury and someone is bleeding profusely, our people are mostly clueless about what to do next. They have no basic BLS or CPR training and hence they are afraid that they might do something wrong and be punished for it.3. No outcome
Who will the court punish? There are 50, sometimes 100 people, some passing by without a second glance, others filming the incident. How many bad Samaritans will the court punish?
Punishing the onlookers who offer no help could not be the solution; penalising them might be. If there are rewards for goodness, there should be penalty for cruelty too.