Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rewarding the Aversion to Compassion

"It is very unfortunate that no one came to assist him. Government has prepared an incentive scheme under which people including drivers of taxi and auto, taking road accident victims to hospital will be rewarded."
Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain, New Delhi, India

The victim was robbed while he was lying in a pool of blood after being hit by a tempo. (CCTV grab)

The city government of Delhi has announced its intentions to launch a "Good Samaritan" program. To reward people for being compassionate and caring about other people. So that, should someone come across another person in grave distress, they will feel compelled to stop and try to help that other person. Knowing that such an act of kindness will have its reward; financial recognition.

A requirement in a society where the 'reward' inherent in caring about others to the point of helping them is one's own satisfaction with self as a decent human being.

It was a man identified by police as Matibool's misfortune not to have been viewed by a series of passersby, some on foot, some bicycling, others in vehicles, as deserving of care as an individual whom fate had left morbidly wounded by a chance accident, when he was hit from behind by a three-wheeled truck.

Matibool had been returning from his work shift, making his way along a highway on foot, to reach his home. His overnight shift as a security guard concluded for the night, he was no doubt deep in thoughts of relaxing at home, having a restorative meal, then a restful slumber.

Little might he have imagined that the future he thought of was to abruptly be made very brief and his slumber would be forever final. The truck barreling down the road that knocked him insensible at the side of the road was captured on CCTV footage.

It showed the driver exiting the vehicle, approaching his victim briefly then moving back into his truck and leaving the scene. Matibool was not yet dead, but bleeding profusely and in extremis. During the course of the following hour, men and women in a recorded succession of 149 vehicles and 82 rickshaws saw nothing, heard nothing, did nothing.

During that same time frame on the busy road, 181 bicyclists and 45 pedestrians also passed by and they too saw nothing and as a result the consciences led them to believe nothing was required of them. An emergency response van of the Delhi police went by on a mission, and that mission did not obviously include stopping to give aid to a crumpled body at the side of the highway.

Eventually a cycle rickshaw passed, then stopped so a passenger could disembark. That person walked up to the dying father of four, to pick up his cellphone, pocket it, return to the rickshaw, and leave. On that highway where Matibool died, there are a number of hospitals.

He had originally left his small town to find work in Delhi so he could send the money he earned back home to his family.

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