This man from Odisha is on a mission to save road accident victims – The New Indian Express
Express news service
PARADIP: In 2005, while truck driver Pankaj Kumar Tarai was on his way to Paradip, he found a large gathering of people near Bhutamundai on the Cuttack-Paradip State Highway. A truck had hit a motorcycle and two people were lying there in a pool of blood. While one sustained a serious head injury, the other person’s leg was severed. No member of the rally, however, offered to transfer them to hospital and minutes later the victims died on the spot.
âBoth lives could have been saved if they had received timely medical assistance,â said Pankaj, a resident of Hasina village under Kujang block. The incident left him emotionally shaken and he decided to help every accident victim he encountered. Over the past 16 years, 38-year-old Pankaj has rescued 400 accident victims in Jagatsinghpur district, 300 of whom have survived.
Although Pankaj began to rescue accident victims on his own, many others have joined him in his mission over the years. Helping in the run is a strong group of local volunteers, youth groups, sarpanchs, panchayat samiti members, firefighters and police, all of whom have come together under a common platform – Devadutt (which means Gift of God) Sangathan – which was founded by him in 2015.
There are 25 members in the group. Either they rush to help the victims, or they coordinate with local police, firefighters and volunteers to transfer the injured to hospital. âThe volunteers also organize vehicles to transport the injured to hospitals. We are working in close coordination to ensure that every accident victim receives timely medical help, âsaid Pankaj, who also started a namesake WhatsApp group of volunteers, youth groups, police and firefighters who provide support. accident information and also coordinate with the sarpanchs. and PRI members to help the families of the victims.
Neither Pankaj nor his volunteers asked the victims or their families for money for the work. âLife is a gift from God. There is no greater job for a human being than to save a life, âhe said. He spends nearly 25 percent of his monthly income helping accident victims and saves the rest to support his family of six. With the increase in the number of vehicles, road accidents are on the increase in the district, especially on the Bhutamundai to Rahama section of the Cuttack-Paradip national road. Several parts of the highway have also been identified as black spots (places prone to accidents).
Many people whose lives Pankaj saved now see him as part of their family. A mechanical engineer, Nihar Ranjan Mohanty from Tandikula Village in Balikuda Block, said he was indebted to Pankaj for giving him new life. Ranjan was struck by a car while riding a motorbike to Paradip on the Cuttack-Paradip national road in Diwali last year.
âI had lost consciousness following the accident. I was told that the locals called Pankaj and he transferred me to Kujang Hospital. From there he took me to SCB Medical College and Hospital arranging an ambulance. If he hadn’t been there, I don’t know if I would have survived, “he said.
Pankaj and his volunteers have also raised awareness to help victims of accidents in the golden hour (an hour after a traumatic injury in which there is the greatest likelihood of avoiding death by providing prompt medical attention. ).
âEven today, people are reluctant to come to the aid of accident victims. The state government’s Good Samaritan policy is a good step in encouraging more and more people to come forward, help accident victims, and save their lives. But that has to make people aware of politics, âhe said.