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deponti to the world

my 2 cents

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I'm boiling over....
wave
deponti
On Friday, 11th Jan 2013, a few of us were going for a birding trail, and we were waiting at the chai shop at Mantri Residency Apartments, on Bannerghatta Road, for a couple of others to arrive.

Suddenly, in the pre-dawn dark, my friends (all young men) said there had been an accident, and rushed on about 10 yards ahead. Then one of them came back and told me that it was a girl who had been hit. A Tata Sumo driver had started the car and speeded up, and a young woman (about 19 or 20, I'd guess) had suddenly walked across without looking. There was no way he could avoid her, and he hit her. He stopped the van, and did not attempt to flee. One could say, literally, that he was petrified with fear.

I went to the girl, who was sitting, propped up against a tree. She was moaning, and unconscious. Her bladder had voided. I gently lowered her to the ground, and checked her pulse (it was steady, not thready) and checked her limbs for obvious fractures. There were no external bleeding or bruises.

The girl was dressed in jeans and a top, and we were surrounded by men, so I could not check her body beyond a limited examination. Someone had already phoned for an ambulance. I knew that if there were spinal or head injuries, moving the girl might result in an increase of the injury...or worse..so I held her head, keeping it low, so that she could get more blood into her brain. She tried, several times, to sit up, and twice, actually got to her feet, but had to lie down again.

At this point, another lady came up, and exclaimed that this girl was a maid, working in the apartment building (Mantri Residency). She said, "Her name is Sudha". So I left the girl after trying to get her to drink some water, went to the security personnel at the gate, and asked for the identity card of any "Sudha" that they had. They produced one, and yes, the photograph WAS of the girl. It gave her name as Sudha Ramesh, but contained no home address or contact number. I asked the security people to call up the people for whom she worked, and get them to contact her home, and ran back to the girl.

The girl seemed to open her eyes and look at me. She said, "Madam!" twice or thrice. Some people tried to ask her where she was from, but it was obvious to me that she was in no coherent condition. But I held her.

The ambulance arrived, and a lady paramedic got out. I was intensely relieved, that now this young girl would be in trained hands, and she would get over whatever injuries she had. I felt that they would treat her for shock, too.

To my horror, the lady paramedic did not even come close to us. She stood her ground next to the ambulance door, and kept asking if we had phoned the police. None of us had thought it was necessary to phone the police as well as the ambulance, but someone then did call the police.

The paramedic also asked if any of us would come with the girl to the hospital. She said they would not take the girl unless there was someone with her.

I asked the paramedic to at least check the girl's pulse, and check her for injuries. Her reply was, "I don't know what happened to her." Well, neither did we, and that didn't stop me from checking the pulse and for obvious fractures, so why could the paramedic, whose job this was, not do this? No, she still kept her distance.

The girl was lying on the dusty road; I begged that they take out the stretcher and at the very least, put the girl on the stretcher instead of letting her lie on the road. They need not put her in the ambulance until some family member turned up. The driver and the lady paramedic turned a deaf ear to my entreaties.

Finally, the police arrived on a Cheetah motorcyle. Also, someone had succeeded in informing the girls family, and her brother turned up. Then, and only then, the girl was taken into the ambulance (not in a stretcher, she was made to stand up, and helped into it)....and the ambulance went off.

I was utterly horrified by the callousness of the ambulance people, but seeing that the girl had stood up and got into the ambulance (though with a lot of assistance) I hoped that she would be OK.

All this happened from about 6.15 am to 7 am.

On Sunday evening, I came to know that the girl had died at 9.30 am.

I am not sure if the ambulance personnel could have saved this girl. But I do know that the inordinate, inexcusable delay in their even touching her could have wasted precious minutes of the "golden hour" that follows any such accident...and they *might* have been responsible for her death.

Why are the ambulance personnel so callous? Surely, their job would be to help the victim first, and all questions later? Obviously they must have had some major issues with the police earlier, which is the only thing that would explain their stance.

Why must it be the duty of the general public to infom the police? Can the protocol not be ensure that the ambulance people themselves call the police as soon as they are informed of an accident? Knowing that the ambulance was calling, the police would also respond faster. And definitely, there should be not a second's delay in the paramedics' attending to the accident victim.

I am totally shocked by the fact that we, as bystanders, did what we could, and yet, we could not save the life of a young accident victim, and had to watch the indifference and red-tape attitude of the very people whose job it was to do their best to help her. Not even first aid was provided.

The ambulance was a BBMP ambulance, in the rush of events, I did not take the number or the names of the paramedic or the driver, as my attention was focused on the girl.

Please...somebody...tell me how and where I can take this up further. I want to ensure that other Sudhas do not lose their lives in this tragic, needless way.


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Such a tragedy. :( God only knows how many lives this stupid "call the police" fear has cost! Given how unprofessional we are, it's quite possible the lady paramedic was just someone who was there at that time, and probably didn't know what to do. I don't really know where you can take this up further, but it's certainly something you can consider writing about in citizen matters or Deccan Herald.

Oh Deponti, how terrible. I feel in shock for you. That poor girl. Thank God you were there, at least one friendly face, at least one person to be with her.

You write a column for the newspaper, right? Is that a possible way? Has your work for the newspaper put you in touch with any journalists who could take up the story.

That would be my route: find a sympathetic journalist.

It would also help to know precisely what the law is--or regulations, or whatever it was that was hampering the paramedics' actions.

I was left with tears when I read the outcome. How can that be even legal anywhere...not to help the wounded. She obviously had terrible internal injuries and time was of the essence.
I also think the press might be a start. The paramedic's lack of professional behaviour should cost her her job, frankly.

It is hard for me to fathom anything like this. I'm horrified.

I'm so sorry, Deepa.
You were the only compassionate person there.

I didn't expect it to end this way. It must have been due to internal injuries that never scream out their seriousness. I'm glad that your response was prompt, the driver's reaction was mature. I hope he wasn't harassed. If anyone can take useful steps going forward, it is you, since you are connected to Citizen Matters who are doing a wonderful job as it is...

I have been shouting at the top of my voice on this issue to create a 911-type system. I even earned the wrath of many, when we made our 24x7 helpline to receive emergency calls too.But, it appears that our citizens have other priorities.

All it takes is few crores of money and an ACT. It can be done by ANY government, if the people demand it. Demand it persistently, and vociferously. We are a city of a almost a crore population. What are we doing?!

Unless we raise our voice for the govt to hear us, we will have more 'Sudhas' and 'Jyothis' dying on the road, for want of little humanity and concern from the fellow denizens, we!

im boiling over

(Anonymous)
deepa,if u really want to take this seriously,go n meet the present municipal comm.Siddaiah.He is known to take action,and is a no nonsense person.Also the ambulance and staff can be traced,as there will be record of time,place etc in BBMP.
rgds

Re: im boiling over

I wish I could. I am going abroad for 6 months, in a few days' time... :(

The government is mulling over the option of creating a single emergency number on the line of 911 in the US. The news came a few days back in The Hindu. When that comes, it might help in getting prompt response from the nearby ambulances/Police patrolling vehicles. But the problem that you wrote is of apathy and negligence of duty by the people in service and mindless rules/regulations. For that the administration itself has to take steps. We, the citizens, can create pressure on the legislature and the administration to do their job properly.

Hi,

Absolutely shocking and appalling!It is great that considerate and self-less citizens like you still exist!

You could try contacting the ALF (alternative law forum) http://www.altlawforum.org/, they will surely be able to provide you with some sort of solution. If you somehow managed to get a glimpse of anything about the ambulance - the number plates, company etc. You could file a complaint with them and they could probably track who the attendants were through their roster.

Hope something works out and this issue can be addressed.

--Divya

I thought this issue was taken care of. If I'm not wrong this came as SMS or news that we don't need police complaint for he victim to be taken care of...

this may help who face similar situations

(Anonymous)
hello all,

bangalore city is not so clean, if u stuck in such situation, just turn ur head towards road, you find a big or small rock just take that and smash the ambulance, and dont allow driver or that nurse to run away,.. if possible just bang one of the person over there.. if any lady has courage just bang that paramedic girl, this is the simplest solution, no court, no police, no station. nothing required just do this and see,..

"kicking hands are better than helping hands. "
i was doing the same if i was in that position..

IS it a 108 ambulane or a bbmp ambulance BBMP does not run ambulances .. your case has gone to GVK CEO i will follow up and see that the ambulance personell if they are GVK are asked about thier inaction.

It was a 108 ambulance. What is GVK? We are not aware of these details at all.

i dont understand one thing that why did people standing there not
took her to hospital? or that tata sumo driver?
(especially when they saw ambulance people werent helping at all)

today I am able to reply...

After an accident, if there is internal or spinal injuries, and untrained people move the victim, severe damage may result. Hence, when the ambulance came, we wanted the trained paramedics to take her, not us.

Follow up

(Anonymous)
You were right in whatever you did.. the rules requiring police and ambulance personnel to act are clear too. That they dont act in the manner required is the problem. Since you dont have the registration number of the ambulance can you share exact time and the number which was used to call the ambulance and the police.. that should help find it. Also 108 ambulances are gvk ambulances. Since you do want to take this further please share more details. You can email me at avinbhat@hotmail.com - avinash bhat

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