The sight of ambulances and police-cars racing to the scene of a road accident in the city or on the busy highway is so commonplace in India that few heads turn even in idle curiosity. According to statistics, there is 1 death in every four minutes due to a road accident in India, earning the country the shameful sobriquet of ‘road accident capital’ of the world. They occur so often that they are taken for granted, and the general public has become conditioned to them.
A victim of such oblivion behavior by the public during road accidents, Piyush Tewari, was deeply saddened and shocked when nobody from the public dialed the police or called an ambulance or came to offer first aid, during the time of his cousin’s accident, who eventually lost his life due delay in medical care. He tried to deal with this grief by understanding the cause of this mishappening by meeting experts, professionals, and doctors and came to the conclusion that this was not an isolated case. He then channeled his anger by setting up an organization that aimed to reduce road accident deaths by leveraging help from bystanders and crystallized his vision into the SAVE LIFE FOUNDATION (SaveLife) in the year 2008. The organization developed a model of emergency response, ensuring that road accident victims get immediate help.
In 2012, after a rigorous survey and study, the Save Life Team revealed the prima-facei reason behind the non cooperation from the Indian Citizens towards the accident victims is the fear of being harassed by the police. According to the team, 77% of bystanders were unlikely to come to the rescue of an accident victim, and 88% of the respondents who were unlikely to assist, did so because they feared legal hassles, hospital detention including questioning by police.
Therefore, the team developed a program that uses common sense to help save accident victims and trained the first batch of police personnel in basic trauma and medical care using the “Chain of survival“ techniques like bleeding control, stabilizing the spine and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). “Till date, 7000 police respondents, who didn’t even know how to deal with the accident victims, have been trained across 5 states in India through these customized and relevant training sessions which teaches them to rescue citizens with their bare hands and safely transport them to the nearby hospitals”, says Saji Cherian, the Head of operations.
Save Life has been trying to initiate rules and laws with the help of the government regarding the good Samaritan law and because of its continuous efforts, 16 guidelines have been passed by the parliament in the year 2015. The organisation have also managed to put a ban on the trucks, which carry iron rods popping out of the rear carriage, within the city borders as they were one of the reasons for fatal road accidents.
Story by : Tanima Chakraborty | Compiled by : Nikhil Sharma
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