There has been a lot of instant anger whipping up in wake of a section of the Punjugutta flyover collapsing leading to loss of atleast 20 lives. I am getting skeptical about the figure as I read wildly varying numbers from variuous sources. Nevertheless, that is not the point. I feel due to the sheer population of our country, we are slowly losing the realization of the value of a human life. Leave alone being sensitive towards special people - designing disabled friendly buildings, buses or trying to bring them to the mainstream - public and government apathy towards value lives has reached a point where all of us are just numbers. You just need to 'google' to get the list of accidents in the last one year. If you go a litle more back in time, there is a chance you may be overwhelmed; that is of course if you yourself have not been afflicted the malaise of apathy.
Somethings that come to my mind are death of more than a hundred children in TN in a school where a function was being held, public transport buses mowing down kids/adults alike, Bhopal gas tragedy (I realize that this is something really back in time) but that does not belittle the responsibility of the govenment and the factory owners towards the affected, Viadharbha farmers committing suicide at such a frenetic pace and government coming out with solutions - which are a palliative at best or a placebo at worst. This list can go on. The question is what will it take to realise the importance and value of a human life. Does it suffice to suspend one or two officers who may actually not be guilty? Why is the government treating the public in world's largest democracy has something dispensable?
I think instead of ranting about the government's inefficiencies, we would be better off investing some time in serious introspection. We need to get into the DO mode; Indian constitution offers adequate avenues to people for redressal of their apprehensions and grievances. But do we use them? Right to Information(RTI) Act, a landmark law, with regard to citizen empowerment and answerability of the government should be used to its maximum. It is high time we graduated from the level of cursing the government of the day, placing the blame on 'OTHERS', waiting for a saviour who will set things right, writing blogs to efface any self-guilt. "Charity begins at home". Be concious of your rights and more importantly the responsibilties that entail.
Start to bring about a change in your own lives. Stop littering the road. Stop jumping traffic lights. Stop bribing officials to get out of sticky situations. Stop being unfaithful to your job. Stop urinating and spitting on the pavements. Stop paying any amount to the rickshaw driver. Start questioning the ways of the government and the municipality that manages the city. Start buying tickets when you travel. Find out about RTI and how you can use it. Educate people about civic responsibilities and create awareness.
As for me, a couple of people I know, who feel the same are trying to make a start. Let us hope.