“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” – Mother Teresa
Mangaluru: Finding dead bodies on the footpaths of the road leading to the Central railway station here is not new.
On July 9, 2014, mangalorean.com had published a story of a man who was found dead near the railway station at Attavar.
On January 25 this year, yet another body was found in front of the railway office. It was of a young man who lay dead on the footpath.
Large crowds kept passing by but not a single person cared to pay any attention nor did anyone inform the police for a long time. It was simply because no one wants to get into the trouble of recording one’s witness or going to the police station to file a complaint and waste one’s valuable time.
The act of playing safe is understandable. Whether the deceased is a stranger or not, the person who volunteers to help is made to go through all the police procedures and also file a complaint. This is mainly why people hesitate to assist anyone in trouble. This old system has to change so that people will be ever ready to help anyone in distress or need.
In the earlier instance, when our correspondent called the police about the dead body lying on the same road, they made her to come to the police station as late as at 9:40 pm to sign the papers as a witness. But then if you ignore such cases after coming across them, you are not doing your duty well as a good, responsible citizen.
On January 25, Team Mangalorean received a call from a person regarding a body lying on the footpath in front of the railway office, near Shri Muthappa temple. Without wasting much time, our team member reached the spot. In the meantime, the Pandeshwar police had also reached the spot and on their behalf police constable D’Souza had already called for the ambulance from Wenlock hospital. The body was shifted to its morgue for a post-mortem examination.
Our correspondent also called up health minister U T Khader regarding a large number of people found dead on this road. Persons dying could be from other districts and states arriving in the city for jobs. A few who fail to get a job take to begging and they spend the nights on the footpaths. In the rainy season, many of them who are professional beggars pitch their tents under the trees and live there.
Our correspondent also saw a group of persons who were relaxing on the footpath. When enquired of, they said that they had come from Tamil Nadu and they would travel back by the evening train.
The administration should take action against such people because it is believed that some of them are involved in petty thefts in and around the city. Some persons who come from other states in search of jobs, when they fail to get, are said to be resorting to crime in order to feed their family.
Citizens pay tax to the government which takes care of services including providing shelter to the beggars and the destitute. But the government is not taking care of the beggars. In fact, the officials of the beggars’ colony, citing various reasons, refuse to take them in.
Team mangalorean had a similar experience earlier. A girl had been found abandoned by her family. An NGO who spotted her looked after her for two years. But her family did not come to take her. Hence the NGO wanted her to be shifted and it sought our help in the process.
Accordingly, mangalorean.com contacted the official concerned and a positive answer was received. But when the girl was taken there, the staff refused even to open their gate. Instead, they insisted on getting in writing from the officer a request or recommendation, without which admission was not possible.
People in large numbers migrate from other states to Mangaluru which is the main cause for many homeless people being found here. Most of them do not fetch employment nor do they have enough resources to support themselves in the city. It looks as though it is much easier for animals to find shelter but not for human beings.
Who is responsible for this situation? Why does the government not take serious measures to accommodate such people instead of leaving them to die on the streets?
The value of life, as perceived by humans towards each other, can be gauged by this incident. It is quite unfortunate that the most intelligent creatures on this planet do not use their intelligence to take care of their own!
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