Thursday, September 13, 2007

Death at the railway station

It was a heart-wrenching sight. The man lay bleeding on the stretcher at Vashi station, the ambulance came and took him away. (Since Vashi is a big station ambulance was available what happens if it is a small one?) The first thing that struck me was: he is someone’s child, someone’s brother (there was a rakhi thread on his wrist), someone’s husband. Center for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) has fought to implement several guidelines which were, sadly, not in evidence at the site where the man lay with blood spurting from his nose.

And I notice several things: the stretcher isn’t clean, there is no cloth to cover his body, no first aid is available, helpline numbers aren’t displayed in compartments and stations, etc. Thousands die in Bombay in railway accidents (because trains are thickly crowded and a man can look back and can be hit by a column in no time), and most of them die because medical help isn’t readily available. And the directives to the railways read thus:

“The entire purpose of this exercise is that the victim gets immediate medical help within the period of one hour (Golden Hour) from the point of accident.”

More than one hour must have passed. His body had a yellowish pallor.
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1 comment:

Chimera said...

having visited Bombay only as a visitor (sticking to taxis) I always think of a day when I would like to taste the commute of Bombay trains - it seems like a world of it's own.