#10, The Death of a Child.
Unlike the usual early morning dash to the gym, we left home late this morning. En route to work, an over crowded bus grabbed my attention in OMR. I slowed down & pulled my camera to click a shot of the bus. As I was trying to put my thoughts together, I saw something which I wished I hadn’t seen.
Barely 100meters ahead of me I saw a child breathe her last. It was the same bus. Crowd began to gather around her; men & women in tears tried to turn away but their inherent voyeuristic self, made them hang around. Boys & girls wearing similar uniforms came running towards her crying out loudly. No one tried to touch her; there as no obvious attempt to rush her to a hospital, it was too late.
Spare a thought for her parents who were probably away at work, building a better tomorrow for her, thinking their child was at school learning something new today. In the next few hours they would have to face the cold truth that there is no tomorrow for her.
“In our pursuits to save a few minutes we end up losing a lot more than just time.”
This was obviously not the first such incident to happen in that stretch, yet the over head bridges are not used. Why? Because there aren’t any elevators or escalators! People cross road jaywalking immune to multiple fatal incidents in the last year or so. This bus driver didn’t seem to be over speeding; he was just crossing a stationary bus – well could he have been more careful – certainly. Along with the hundreds of others she probably tried to cross the road unmindful of vehicles on the move. While it may be a very rude thing to say, I am inclined to believe that may be the child was at fault. But then, aren’t we all to be blamed here for having played a role in her untimely death?
We as matured adults break rules in our daily lives and set such bad examples to children watching us. The rebels inside us make us feel proud with a petty sense of achievement. How often do we jump a red signals, jaywalk even if the signals haven’t changed, ride two wheelers without helmets- at times even loading more than 4 people in a two wheeler. How about piracy, using foul language, back biting or any such unethical practices? We all neglect the fact that our children, not just our own, but the ones who are around us are observing us and there are high chances that they will grow into what they see today
And I wonder if this child would have been alive today, if her parents looked right, looked left, waited for vehicles to stop before crossing roads or used the over head bridges where ever available. And…in this case, there was one just a few hundred meters away. She would have been alive if the people around her waited for the road to clear up before they rush into the road – or crossed the road in a traffic signal. What if our political leaders ensured that there were more busses on the roads in peak hours – may be the driver would have then had a better control over his steering!
“You may look weird; you may be called a nerd. At times sticking on to the ground rules is the best thing you can do to make this world a better place.”
While i feel sorry for the little girl who fell victim to our habituation, i think the fact is that such (frequent) happenings will not stop that easily. In fact you were witness to only one of too many cases which i’m sure happen day in & out around the country. Brother, don’t forget our lives have become immune to such occasions that with it occurs the demise of not just a life but a collective soul, of which you and me are parts of. I think the root problem is different (but linked) though – poverty, education, suppression, etc. You wouldn’t find a kid on the street walking on a busy road unless their parents are elsewhere struggling for the daily bread right. In a way, yes you should be blaming the parents for not letting the kids learn the basics of road. But to them, they have tougher things to thing of right. Such things are bound to become a routine brother, unless the community as such moves ahead.
A 5 star for the comment too!
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absolutely navin… i feel the state has a responsibility of providing a safe infrastructure – even if that means that they have to punish people to become disciplined….. but i guess it would take a few centuries for a situation like this to happen in India…
Vimal, till when do we blame the state man. Which is why in my reply if you notice, i didn’t once blame the government. After all what is the state, who are the government, what consitutes them – us, you and me. I think we should stop finding a scapegoat for our problems for us to find solace in brother. We’re fooling nobody, but just ourselves. Even besides the government, what stops us from getting together and building an awareness program. Beyond the system, i think the society too can take an initiative right. I’m not saying that ONLY you and i are to blame. No, everybody has a role to play. But then i don’t think it makes sense to just blame the ones who rules thinking (and expecting) them to make all the calls. Don’t we do our own bits in our own organization, or just wait for the CEO to make all the big (relative here, so don’t catch me on the word ‘big’ alright!) calls, u already know the answer to this 🙂 Peace and love!
our debates will go on man…. but i still feel the state has a responsibility here because its more powerful than individuals like you & I 😉
Vimal, I agree with Navin….Why should we wait for the state or the Govt to turn around our lives for us…..Isnt it the duty of every citizen to do his/her (incl u and me ) bit to make our country a lil better……after all tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean