A viewer committed to help road accident victims in the 1980s and was moved to share his story publicly after watching Satyamev Jayate.
Dear Aamir Khan,
I have not been a very good person for which I regret till date—an incident I am so ashamed of.
Way back in 1984–86, I was studying in Lucknow University, doing my post graduation, living in a hostel. The distance from the hostel room to my classes was about 15 minutes by walk and so often I would go by my bicycle.
One morning as I came on the main road, I saw a huge crowd and as a curious onlooker I joined in the crowd. I saw a person lying on the road, hit by a speeding vehicle, bleeding profusely and feebly asking for help. The crowd was of almost 40–50 people, but nobody was coming forward to pick him up or try to stop bleeding. I stood in the crowd like an IDIOT, watching that person bleed.
As the man turned his head, lying on the road, for a second or two we even made eye contact! I could read the pain / anguish and his eyes implored me for help. But I was not prepared to involve myself. I was too keen to reach my college and I simply pulled myself out of the crowd and cycled off, hoping someone from that swelling crowd would help him.
After a couple of hours, I returned from the same road. I saw an ambulance. A DEAD MAN was being put into the vehicle and police were making some notes. Nobody seemed to know who that man was. Nobody seemed bothered too. I felt pangs of regret for the first time. It hit me like lightning. I cursed myself for being able-bodied and capable enough of helping but not doing anything to prevent a death. Maybe the man was injured beyond recovery but who knows a timely intervention and help would have saved him.
I started seeing those eyes in my dreams—the eyes of the dying man—and would get up from sleep and then would be too scared to sleep lest I saw them again. I lost my sleep for days.
While I faced these sleepless nights, whenever somebody would get hurt in a road accident, I would be around to help the victim and donate blood.
I was too ashamed to narrate this incident to anyone. The first person to know was my wife many years later. I have kept donating blood to accident victims at rather regular intervals, or helping those in need of blood for other medical reasons. I have now lost count on how many times I have given blood. Beyond a certain point, I decided not to keep a track. My voluntary donation of blood has brought in a lot of inner peace. I have stopped seeing those eyes.
Now when I see people driving a scooter / motorcycle without helmet or not wearing them properly, I take efforts to stop them on the road, and counsel them. I have got responses ranging from outright ridicule to gratitude. I recently saw a man with helmet not worn properly while riding a motorcycle and I chased him, stopped him and requested him to wear his helmet properly which he did rather reluctantly. I was driving slowly and and he raced forward, helmet properly put. Two km down the road, I saw traffic jamming up. The same motorcyclist had slipped and crashed into a car. BUT HE WAS SAFE! He had his helmet on.
My happiness knew no bounds! I hope I am able to redeem myself of the misdeed I did so many years back.