OPINION | Nov 22, 2018:
An XI standard girl from Nongpoh who met with an accident just outside the gate of Alpha English Higher Secondary School succumbed to her injuries. Who is to be blamed?
I can’t help but bleed for the loss of one of my students, Rani Rongpeit, an XI standard who met with an accident on Nov 20 just outside the school gate. She was hit by a Mizoram sumo bearing the number MZ 09 J 9094 at 10:59 am,.
It was reported that her life was untimely plucked at the hands of an intoxicated driver. She was a fighter. Even when the doctors had given her only 1 percent chance of living, she fought fearlessly until her very last breath, when finally her body gave up on her soul twelve hours later.
Whom do we blame?
Should we blame the intoxicated driver who immediately fled the scene but was eventually caught? It was approximately assumed that the vehicle was driving at a speed of over 100 kmph. Her body flew quite a distance but the driver showed no signs of stopping down.
Or should we blame the traffic police who was missing from the scene when the accident took place?
It was an immediate need for the traffic police to be present there during school hours, but most of the time, the traffic police’s duty is only made mandatory only before and after school hours, that is, at or before 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.
The hours in between are not considered school hours despite the fact that there are children of lower classes that are off by 12:00 PM.
Should we blame the victim who was not careful while crossing the road? Perhaps, but we should also note that the distance from the Bethany Hospital, Pahamsyiem till the Zebra crossing of the Alpha English Higher Secondary School is approximately 100 m.
On top of that, it is adorned by a slight semi-circle curve. It is quite difficult for the pedestrians to time the crossing if a car is driving too fast. This leaves the pedestrians only a few seconds to cross the road. Not everyone can be agile. She is a girl!
A speed breaker was the immediate need. If there can be three speed breakers at the view point in Umiam, I fail to understand why can there be no speed-breakers in the Pahamsyiem stretch.
There has also been innumerable appeals that are being made to the higher authorities to install speed-breakers as there are three schools and a college at the stretch from Mawdiangum till Pahamsyiem. The appeals have fallen to deaf ears. It is a shame that it takes the life of a student to be sacrificed to bring an awareness that a SPEED BREAKER is needed.
What we also have to consider here is the imperfections of human beings and the possibility of the human error, both the victim and the accused. People do blackout.
Too many people are dying as a result of accidents. It is time we learn that, not wearing a seat-belt is not killing anyone. Wreckless driving is what is killing innocent people. Why are there no DUI and DWI checkings?
Two months ago, I lost a nephew as a result of wreckless driving. There were three men inside the pickup truck, but neither of them felt the need to check while backing. The cement loaded truck went through my nephew, crushing every organ in his body, his front teeth shattered and a leg turned into a pulp. The poor seven year old died in the spot just outside the gate of his own house. Mind you this was no highway, neither was it a road. It was just a lane.
Earlier this year, another child of three lost it’s life in a similar fashion in Nongmensong.
A life lost is an irreparable damage. The blame game will not bring her back to life, neither will it heal the unfathomable agony of her love ones. But we sure can prevent many more of such cases. If only we learn to value, each and ever single soul and honestly uphold the duty bestowed upon us with sincerity, we could save a sea of hearts from being shattered.
Life is too short. Let’s live it well.