By Kinnera Murthy
Four days back, returning home on the Begumpet-Banjara Hills flyover, I had to slow down because an accident had taken place just a couple of minutes ago. A boy in his twenties was lying on the road, bleeding with a smashed up nose and mouth, perhaps a fracture too and internal injuries. The few passersby who had stopped were trying to make the semi-conscious man who was lying face down, to lie on his back. Long back I had read that when you do that to a person bleeding from his mouth, the blood could enter the lungs and choke him. I asked the people around to put the man on his side. Someone said 108 had been called but as precious time was being lost, I offered to take him to the hospital in my car. Two young boys followed my car on their bikes.
It was a very worried me who drove to Care Hospital. The boy suddenly started wheezing and groaning and I was scared he would fall from the seat. I kept on speaking to him, more to reassure myself that he was alright. At the hospital, the two boys (one an MBA student and the other luckily for me, a technician from the Radiology department of Care Hospital) helped me to get the man inside.
The emergency doctors attended to the boy and I completed the paper work. But locating the family of the boy was difficult as there was no response from the `Daddy’ on his phonebook. (Later we came to know that he had put on silent mode and forgot to turn it back on). A call to a friend finally helped us convey the message to his family.
Driving back, I was more angry than relieved. A helmet could have prevented injury to his head and face. Hyderabad records one of the highest number of road accidents in India, a majority of them involving two-wheelers. Yet those who manage the city do not demonstrate the will to enforce the helmet rule strictly. How many deaths and broken bones do we need before we embrace the helmet compulsorily.
The boy’s father called me later in the night to thank me and said though a couple of surgeries will have to be performed, the boy is not in any serious danger. I hope the next time he rides his bike, he will pick up the helmet before the bike key.