On Monday, 8 April 2019, IPS officer Saravana Vivek M was driving from Gunupur municipality in Odisha to Rayagada. His two-hour journey back to his jurisdiction district had almost come to an end when he saw a crowd of people gathering on the road.
The road, according to Vivek, was under construction, so the IPS officer got down to check what was wrong.
It turned out that three men were lying injured after an accident. The Better India spoke with Vivek, asking about the details of the accident, and he told us, “The three of them were lying there injured, and a small crowd had gathered. By the time I reached the spot, they had already called an ambulance and were just awaiting its arrival; no one had attended to the victims. Two victims had minor injuries, but the other was bleeding through his nose, showing symptoms of severe head injuries. There has been some miscommunication with the media and, no, not all three of them had serious injuries. Just one of them did, but I helped all three get to the hospital.”
IPS officer Vivek, incidentally, is an MBBS, who appeared for the civil service exams in 2015 after completing his graduation. Thanks to his study in medicine, he could understand the gravity of the situation.
One of the three accident victims was unconscious when Vivek saw him. After regaining consciousness, the victim vomited and was bleeding through his ears and nose.
“Typically, the sign of a strong impact to the brain,” the doctor turned IPS officer says. He adds, “I gave him water and applied first aid. But I knew that the ambulance would take a long time to reach the spot due to the condition of the road. So I decided to take them to the hospital in my car.”
The IPS officer did succeed in saving the severely injured victim, but he wishes to highlight some important points through this incident.
“You see, the trio was riding on a single bike. That itself is a very dangerous breach of law and adding to that, they were not wearing helmets, risking their lives further. Thankfully, all three of them are out of danger now, but you see how crucial it is to follow traffic rules, irrespective of whether you are riding on a busy road or a road half constructed,” Vivek says.
The MBBS graduate, who is an alumnus of the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, was inspired to join the civil services when he became a member of the administrative committee in his college.
Soon after his graduation, he started studying for the UPSC exams, knowing all too well that he was diving from one field of intense study to another.
After a couple of failed attempts, he finally passed in 2015 and became an IPS officer. Vivek’s position as the Superintendent of Police in Rayagada is a role he took up very recently.
Apart from stressing on the importance of following traffic rules, Vivek also strongly advocates the Good Samaritan Law. You can know in detail how this law can save lives here.
“Several states in India have implemented the Good Samaritan Law, including Odisha. The law encourages people to save lives. There are perks too, like financial rewards, but even without these, people should help out an accident victim without hesitation. Usually, if you see an accident, there’s a crowd gathering around it.
Not everyone rushes to help whereas ideally, everyone should. You see people thrashing the driver who caused the accident but how many people help the injured?” asks the civil servant.
He elaborates that it is indeed unfortunate that people are more willing to cause a fight than to help an injured person. One of the most common fears is that the police will involve the good Samaritan in the processing of the case and in some cases, even blame the helper. But that is exactly why the law is implemented–to protect good Samaritans.
The IPS officer says that he is not the only one in the country to help accident victims, and although he gets, what he calls, an undeserved attention from the media, he wishes to use this platform to encourage more States to implement the Good Samaritan Law and motivate our readers to follow it, whenever an untoward incident occurs.
An active step by you can save a life, one that doesn’t require you to be a civil servant or a medical professional. Of course, you must not act or carry first aid processes if you are not sure of what must be done. But something as simple as crowd control or helping a victim to the nearest hospital could be a brave, noble step you can take.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)