Bengaluru: “Your greatest display of strength and character comes at the time when you are able to help someone else while you are going through your own storm.” These words of a poster from Spirit Science on Facebook has been liked by over 35,000 people and shared by over 20,000 people, making its further rounds with more people.
But what happened today in Bangalore made this statement look very feeble in expressing the great spirit of humanity at display.
A 23-year-old young man Harish Manjappa was on his way to office in Whitefield after completing his duty of casting his vote as a citizen in the elections in Karegondanahalli village in Tumkur district on February 16. While on the National Highway near Nelamangala, about 30 kilometres from Bangalore, his bike was knocked down by a lorry carrying sugar bags, as it tried to overtake his bike.
According to the police, Harish lost his balance after the lorry accidentally touched his bike. He fell under the wheels of the lorry and his body was severed into two pieces. For a few minutes, he lay on the highway, pleading for help even as passers-by watched in horror. Some passersby informed the police who rushed him to a hospital.
It is not unusual on Indian roads to have such accidents. One serious road accident in the country takes place every minute and 16 people die every hour on Indian roads. Harish would be just another number added to this statistic.
But Harish made his accident and death immortal by what he did in the last 20 minutes of his life after his body was cut into two pieces. As he clung on to life, he pleaded with those who took him to hospital to harvest his organs and donate these to those in need. The fact that he did this while many people were busy taking photos and videos without making an effort to help him makes it all the more heartening. After making this wish he breathed his last.
No words can express aptly this heroic act of Harish. Most humans would have wanted to talk to their beloved people or share some information on money or property at recognising their impeding death. But Harish showed the sheer beauty of humanity by focusing his last moments on wanting to help some else to live a life that he was losing. Remember he is someone in the prime of his youth with all his dreams shattered in a split second and still thinking of helping others.
Medical Director, HOSMAT Hospital, Dr Ajit Benedict Rayan said, “It was heroic of Harish to think of donating his organs to help others even as he lay in the middle of a road.” Of course it was not possible to harvest his organs since the accident had badly damaged most of it, except his eyes.
“We’ve collected Harish’s eyes as he was keen on donating his organs. It’s astounding how a man who was split into two and lying on the road was able to think with such clarity. It is unheard of.” said Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Netralaya.
Harish’s difficult past might have given him this thought. He lost his father at a young age and his mother worked as a farm labourer to support the family. His brother was an auto rickshaw driver. Harish would work during his school holidays and weekends to pay his school fees. He visited his mother every fortnight and ensured that the groceries were bought for the family before he left. He was about to construct a house for the family.
Harish will go down in history as the most heroic organ donor! Pranam Harish.
As someone working for eye donation, I feel that we must declare Harish as the ‘Patron of Eye Donation’.