Kudos to Khandala's young heroes

There are several lessons we can learn from Sunday’s accident on the Pune-Satara Highway, in which two luxury buses collided head-on, killing one and injuring 45.

This newspaper reported how it was the Khandala Rescue Team (KRT), a Good Samaritan group formed by local youngsters, which provided immediate medical care for the victims, ferrying them to hospital within minutes.

This is not an isolated incident. This team — with an overall strength of 200 — works like a well-oiled machine and has a strong network amongst residents to ensure that they get updates of every such incident. They have even tied up with local hoteliers and roadside stall owners, who inform them in case of any mishap. As a result, KRT manages to reach the disaster zone even before the local police or disaster officials can get there.

It is heartening to learn that these young persons are not turning the other way, as is often seen when there is an accident or any unfortunate occurrence on the road. The common man’s first reaction is wariness, with questions like: why get involved in a police matter?

We see bystanders gathering around an accident site on the road, doing little to help the victims. Instead, they stand there, talking and waiting for the police. One is not suggesting that laypersons start playing police or doctor. The authorities and medical personnel play important roles, but timely initial help in the golden hour is vital. This is why the Khandala Rescue Team arrives on the scene at a moment’s notice, to save life and limb.

There is no panic or false information, and the unit seems to work in a smooth, co-ordinated manner. These self-trained first responders are doing a stellar job and should prove an inspiration to many. They should make us hold a mirror up to ourselves and search our souls. A special doff of the hat to the group, who are setting an example for everybody.

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