Monday, January 11, 2010
One evening, during my college days, I witnessed an accident where a cyclist was knocked down by a cab. The man laid motionless before me. Every nerve, every muscle in my body wanted to act. Instead I stood by the side frozen in shock and disbelief. Even as I tried to reach out my body trembled seeing so much blood. It was only when a few by-standers came forward to pick him up and put him in a cab that I could move forward to touch him. I still don’t know what happened to him; if he survived or not? I was consumed with an overwhelming guilt and helplessness knowing that I could have done better.
For a long time I carried this guilt within me. But then life took over.
Life has its own way of teaching one a lesson. A few years later, I came across a similar situation where I was once again a mute, motionless, helpless spectator. This time the man bled to death right in front of me. The guilt and pain coupled with memories of the past incident led to many sleepless nights. I just could not come to terms with the fact that I didn’t do anything.
To be rid of my helplessness, the first step I took was to carry basic medical supplies to administer help in an emergency situation. To begin with it gave me courage to at least face the situation. Soon I realized that carrying a first aid box alone wasn’t enough if I didn’t know what to do.
In April 2008, I did a five-day course in Wilderness Awareness First Aid (WAFA) offered by National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) alongwith Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) which equipped me with primary first aid skills and inspired a lot of confidence. Ever since then there have been no trembling hands, no more helplessness and no guilt-ridden incidents.
But I realized that in spite of my efforts there were many who were left unattended. There were still people out on the streets and busy roads lying unnoticed and helpless. It is physically and practically impossible for me to be present everywhere.
And so my redemption lies in you. At home or on a crowded street, the support you can give can mean the difference between life and death.
There is a Good Samaritan in all of us. We inherently possess the virtue of compassion not only for fellow human beings but animals and nature too but, unfortunately, at times our compassion falls short of real action due to lack of knowledge.
Hence the Good Samaritan Project! I wish to enable ourselves - equip our compassion with the right skills and attitude which, I believe, could make a difference. It is about sharing the knowledge I gained at WAFA and my continued learning experiences in trying situations. A city with a thousand Samaritans can not only redeem the unending guilt of many but transform the very nature of our response to unattended accidents.
What is ‘The Good Samaritan’ Project?
The Good Samaritan Project is about sharing basic skill-sets and the Do's and Dont's of First Aid which could someday become the little step that makes a huge difference in someone else's life.
Why ‘The Good Samaritan’ Project?
Please remember, you are not guilty. It is our mind that plays tricks with us. We just need to outplay it by equipping our will with the right skills. It is that simple.
Who can be a part of ‘The Good Samaritan’ Project?
Anyone! And I wish everyone.
If you have the will, skill is on its way.
Please note: I am not a doctor; neither do I intend to be. I am trained in first aid procedures which could be vital to sustain a victim in an emergency situation until professional help arrives or till he/she is shifted to a hospital. These are basic procedures that can be learnt by any person of any background.
How do I intend to make this dream a reality?
Simple - Call me to your school, your college, your workplace or home.
All you need to do is mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Someone who helps another in need for compassionate motives and with no thought of reward.
From the Biblical parable, Luke 10:30/33:
A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead...
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. He attended to his wounds and bandaged him. Took him to a nearby inn and took care of him...