This being the first ever in India, the Devanahalli traffic police in Bengaluru, decided to pool money to save accident victims. Instead of waiting for the victims’ relatives to come and pay for medical treatment during the ‘Golden Hour’, the police decided to pool money to save precious lives.
The Devanahalli police station has jurisdiction over a stretch that is notorious for fatal road accidents. Since the roads are good, drivers speed. On many stretches, the average speed is 120-160 kmph. Bellary Road, Yelahanka, MEIT junction, Kannamangala, Indian Air Force area, etc, witness eight accidents every month. Most of the victims are pedestrians. The police often struggle to immediately identify the victims and trace their relatives. But hospitals refuse treatment until payment is made. And who will pay when there are no relatives is always a questions that remains unanswered? The result is the loss of the ‘Golden Hour’.
Devanahalli traffic police inspector, Rajesh L Y, said he was so moved by the victims’ plight that he decided to create a corpus. “Many lives are lost because of delay in medical relief. When we take them to hospital, doctors prescribe CT scan and other tests that require money,” he told Deccan Herald. One day, he told his staff during a roll call that they should have an Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) by way of personal contributions. He donated Rs 5,000 and his colleagues too chipped in but contributions were voluntary.
The initiative is probably the first-of-its-kind in India. It works like this. The police have a corpus of Rs 15,000. The moment they learn about an accident, the officer rushing to the spot carries the money. When the victim is taken to hospital, the immediate medical bill is footed by this corpus. Rajesh said they were able to save eight lives after creating the corpus. “In several cases, the victim’s relatives returned the money. In some cases, the victim dies despite our best efforts but we never demanded the money back from the relatives,” he said. He, however, said they can fund accident relief in only for limited cases and not on a regular basis.