Callousness COSTS DEAR
Personal negligence – whether in carelessly crossing roads, avoiding helmets or taking selfies on railway tracks – has become a leading cause of premature death in Indian cities that are already brimming with people struggling to make their basic ends meet
Negligence has had devastating consequences across the country. Whether it is rash driving, avoiding police verification or trespassing railway tracks, negligence harms society. Data related to untoward incidents have shown a large number of deaths in this regard.
NEGLIGENCE – A Threat
In a drive conducted by Delhi Police, it has been observed that more than 100 cases were registered against hotels, guest houses and cyber cafes in the city over security-related issues. Police found that records of visitors were not maintained properly by the hotels, guest houses and cyber cafes - demonstrating complete negligence of security.
The database in the form of records helps police during their investigation of any incident. The city police have registered more than 1,000 cases during tenant verification in bordering areas of Delhi. It was also observed that landlords ignored various rules and rented their properties without police verification of their occupants.
The North East district police, during tenant verification drive, arrested sandalwood smugglers from the Welcome area. Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East), Atul Thakur, informed that tenant verification is very important for the safety of any particular place. It helps in combating infiltration by anti-social elements. "Any criminal can live under the garb of the tenant. Through verification, credential of the tenant is checked. It helps police in curbing crime," said DCP North East.
Recently, an attempted murder case of a woman in outer North District was solved. The investigation revealed that the crime was committed in a room where both the accused and the victim were staying. The landlord had ignored the process of tenant verification. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer-North), Gaurav Sharma, said that they arrested the accused, Arjun Baitha, from Dehradun. "Nobody knew his name and origin as the landlord had no records. He had been dwelling in the locality under a fake name. For such negligence, a case has also been registered against the landlord for not conducting tenant verification," said DCP Outer North.
Many cases of deaths on railway tracks due to trespassing, avoiding over bridges and violating safety instructions have also been on the rise. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways), Dinesh Gupta, said that negligence in adhering by the safety rules has claimed many lives. "There are several cases in which people were killed after being hit by trains while attempting to cross railway tracks without paying heed to the rules," said DCP Railway. Adding further, the DCP said, "In some instances, passengers also died after falling off trains. Either they were standing on the gate of their respective coaches and later slipped or were trying to board running trains and fell to death." Delhi Police has been spreading awareness on regular intervals through various campaigns - distributing pamphlets that urge passengers to use foot overbridges, avoid crossing the tracks, follow traffic rules etc.
As many as 960 people died in such unfortunate incidents reported in the first six months of the current year across railways jurisdiction in the city, reveals the data of Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Delhi division. According to the data, the incidents were mostly on grounds of trespassing, falling from trains, pole hitting, falls in platform gaps, suicide, deaths while trying to perform stunts as well as electric shocks. Last year 2,725 such cases were reported of which 2,201 persons died. The data further said that 130 cases of falling from trains were reported in which 54 died and 76 were injured. The RPF data also revealed that this year (till June 2019) as many as 1,212 cases of such incidents were reported under the railway jurisdiction. As many 634 trespassing incidents were reported till June in which 558 persons died and 76 people were injured.
RPF Senior Divisional Commissioner (coordination) said crossing railway tracks, boarding or de-boarding running trains are major negligence by passengers. "Passengers should never trespass railway area, should utilise only authorized entry and exit gates, FOB, escalators and lifts. They should come to the station well before the departure of the train to board the train comfortably," said AN Jha. He further added that traveling on the footboard and taking selfies on tracks are dangerous.
Drunk, negligent, rash driving are the main reasons behind road accidents in the city. Errant driving risk lives who are using the street to commute. Delhi Police data of the year 2018 revealed that as many as 1,604 persons were killed in road accidents and more than 5,000 people were injured. "Rash and negligent driving is a major cause behind fatalities across the city," police said.
Earlier in June, a drunk man ran his vehicle over homeless people sleeping on the roadside in southeast Delhi's Nizamuddin area. The errant driver was arrested and was booked under relevant sections of IPC. In another instance, a 50-year-old homeless woman was killed after she was hit and then dragged by a premium SUV in the Connaught Place area. Delhi Police data also exposed that last year 1,37,565 challans were registered for over speeding whereas for dangerous driving as many as 2,34,639 challans and for drunken driving 37,188 challans were issued.
Negligence is not just limited to violation of rules; rather it has more deepening effects. In most cases related to rescue of children, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) found that the children who were rescued during raids were brought from different parts of the country. "We found that the parents, after taking money, have sent their kids with traffickers. The family members are lured on the pretext that they will get their children salary every month," said Roop Sudesh Vimal from DCPCR. After a few months, traffickers stop sending money to parents. When the families run out of money then they alert police about their children. This form of crime can also be curbed if locals report such incidents immediately; whenever they see a child below 14 years engaged in any form of laborious work.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in several cases, found that parents barely talk to their children which results in serious consequences. "There are cases where children committed suicide on issues like fewer examination marks. Interaction is important for a child's safety," said a senior NCPCR member. The official, sharing details one of the child abuse cases, said, "A minor girl was regularly refusing to go school. She told her mother that the sweeper uncle is not good. But her mother ignored. One day a girl's relative heard the conversation between the minor and her mother. Later the relative interacted with the girl in which it was revealed that the sweeper sexually assaulted the kid. The accused was arrested." Yashwant Jain, member NCPCR told Millennium Post that parents should regularly interact with their children. They should give knowledge to their kid about good-bad touch.
Inferno has been another reason for various deaths. Outdated wiring, faulty building design, a single escape route, inappropriate and illegal use of building infrastructure leads to casualties in fire incidents. Delhi Fire Services (DFS) Director, Vipin Kental, while talking about a recent fire incident in South East Delhi, said, "Faulty building design with no proper ventilation were the prime factors that hindered the rescue operation." Adding further, the DFS Director said that wiring of a house should be changed when electrical appliances increase.
The data accessed by Millennium Post revealed that 297 deaths were reported last year whereas 1,597 persons were injured in different incidents in which DFS received information to conduct the rescue operation. In 2017, as many as 318 persons died and 1,767 were injured.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Eastern Range), Alok Kumar, told Millennium Post that citizens play an important role in strengthening safety and security of the city and the nation at large." There are responsibilities like tenant or servant verification, installation of CCTV cameras, informing police about any suspicious person or thing, which should be fulfilled by citizens to curb down crimes as well as accidents," said Joint CP Alok Kumar.
There are families, who are yet to install CCTV cameras, alarm systems in their homes. They should install safety equipment as it will increase their security. In some cases, people switch off their CCTV cameras after they close their shops, which they should not do. In Delhi, there are gated societies but at the same time, the security guards should be well trained to keep a strict vigil on the movement of vehicles and people in the society, especially during the later hours of the day. If we as citizens play our part, we can bring down such horrific incidents by a great margin across the country.