Jaipur road accident: My sincere apologies to the family

How would you feel if, God forbid, you and your dear ones meet with an accident and no one comes forward to help you? Of course you would be sad, shattered and heart-broken.

Something similar to what Kanhaiya Lal Raiger went through after he and his family met with an unfortunate accident in Jaipur recently. I can sense the deep pain, sadness, anguish and anger which Kanhaiya Lal must have felt when no one came to his rescue after the family’s fatal accident inside a tunnel. Tragically, his wife and their infant baby died.

Kanhaiya Lal Raiger is an ordinary resident of Thikariya village situated on Ajmer Road who was on an ordinary family trip on April 14.

Little did he know that for his 26-year-old wife and eight-month-old daughter, who were riding pillion when Raiger’s bike collided with a speeding truck inside the Ghat ki Guni tunnel, the journey to his in-law’s house in Luniyawas would be their last.

Kanhaiya Lal Raiger was also caught on camera crying for help for over 40 minutes along with his four-year-old son after the tragedy, but sadly, no one came forward.

The callous indifference of those who passed by – reports said that at least 18 cars passed by without stopping - and the insensitive attitude of the policemen who later attended the victim is shocking, appalling and something that has shamed us all.

The sight of a sobbing Raiger begging for help, holding his head and finally giving up, with his face clearly depicting the grief and despair made international headlines and must have moved many when they watched the news telecast but it tragically failed to evoke any emotions in those who were in a position to help.

It is evident from the CCTV footage that in Raiger’s case a lot of time was wasted and the motorists ignored their cries and passed by without stopping.

Had someone attended to the victims and arranged for prompt medical treatment, the result could have been different. The victims were attended to only after a staffer of the tunnel toll booth noticed the crying husband and his son on the CCTV monitor.

Unfortunately, despite improved infrastructure and better road safety arrangements, accidents still take place in India (due to human error and other reasons) almost every day and claim precious lives. This is something which is beyond our control but we can certainly reduce their sufferings, and to some extent, save many lives if we render timely help to the victims.

However, in this case, what has come to the fore is the indifferent attitude of humanity towards a fellow human being, who is caught in such adverse circumstances of fate and begging for help.

We have probably forgotten the teachings of our great forefathers who asked us to remain concerned towards the sufferings of others and treat fellow human beings as brothers. Even the Bhagwad Gita - one of the greatest treaties on Hindu philosophy and religion - says that the biggest service to God is the service to humanity.

With the passage of time, we have become so self-centered, so self-obsessed that we care nothing about others. We don’t get affected by the problems and miseries of others. Things only bother us when our near and dear ones are caught in a crisis. We often forget that no one can escape the cruel hands of destiny and anyone can face difficult situations in life just by a stroke of sheer bad luck.

It seems that it is in our DNA to remain mute spectators even after we see an unfortunate incident. We want to know what has happened but shy away from rendering a helping hand to those in distress just to avoid legal hassles. And this is not just related to the cases of road accidents. We see this tendency of people remaining insensitive to others in our general lives too.

However, this needs to change now and our police, too, needs to be made more sensitive and receptive. While I pray to the almighty to give Mr Raiger the courage and strength to bear the tragic loss of his dear ones, I also tender my apology to him on behalf of those who ignored his calls for help and moved on as if nothing had happened.

I also feel sorry that I could not do much to help this devastated man except penning my views about this tragic incident hoping to stir a few hearts and making them more sensitive towards others.