NEW DELHI -- Close to 400 people die in road accidents everyday in India, and a large number of deaths are caused because the victims cannot get medical aid in time. In other words, road accident victims often die because no one stops to help them or because an ambulance can't reach them in time.
Given the traffic situation, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has figured that it would be easier for an autorickshaw to reach road accident victims than an ambulance.
And so, the Delhi government is offering Rs. 2,000 to autorickshaw drivers who take road accident and trauma victims to hospital, The Hindu reported today.
Delhi, a city of 22 million people, has 152 state-run ambulances, which works out to one for every 144,736 people, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014. The World Health Organization says there should be at least one ambulance per 100,000 people.
“The truth is that in Delhi, ambulances do not reach the victims in time. If we follow protocols and wait for ambulances, we will not be able to save lives. We are giving this economic incentive to Good Samaritans because they lose time from work. In most cases, their clothes are bloodied and we do not want them to suffer because of helping accident victims," Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain told The Hindu.
"We cannot put a price tag on a life saved. This is just a token, and it is optional — it will be up to the people to take this money,” he said.
In March, the Supreme Court approved the central government's guidelines to protect "Good Samaritans," who help road accident victims, from being harassed by police.
The National Crimes Records Bureau report says 4,50,898 road accidents resulted in 1,41,526 deaths in 2014. The maximum fatalities were reported on Delhi’s roads with 2,199 deaths during the year.
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