Like a normal day, after my college hours I was heading to my office which is about 2 to 3 minutes walk from my uni. Along the way comes a bus-stop, Thapathali bus-stop to be specific. It was too crowded as usual.
A lot of pedestrians were waiting for the arrival of vehicles to reach their destination. Office workers, college and school students and also few teachers ( I could recognize them through the ID card they were hanging around their neck), basically most of the people were literate.
Among them was a physically challenged woman who was struggling to find a way out in that crowd. She was visually impaired. Anyone could make it out and her only helping hand was her cane.
I was about 10-15 steps behind and was trying to reach out to help her but the struggle was real. It was difficult for me to reach to her. I could see people gazing at her with the looks of confusion and sympathy. But none could take a step ahead to help her. Pathetic, isn’t it!? What would you do if you were there? Would you puzzle yourself in thoughts about helping her or not or just go ahead and do what you have to do without having a second thought about it? Right now you might be saying yes, I would help, I mean who wouldn’t, but trust me in the real scenario people tend to act different. All their words are rarely brought into practice.
Well I do not say that there was none willing to help. Yes, there was this little boy reaching out his hand to help her walk easily. Innocence of a child, well that did not last longer. It’s heartbreaking to tell you that he could not do what he wanted to, because his mother pulled him to walk faster to get in the bus. (They might have been late for something, never mind.)
So finally, I came closer to her while she almost tripped off in a puddle. Luckily, I happened to save her from falling and hurting herself. Yes, I know it sounds like a bollywood movie scene but that is what happened. Then I asked her, “Where do you need to go?” She replied, “Lagankhel.” So I waited with her holding her hand trying to help her get a seat in the vehicle.
You might be thinking , ok now she could get in the bus and go safely. Well you are wrong there. You might have noticed seats reserved for women, disabled and old aged people in public vehicles. I did to and thinking that I thought she could get one easily and can reach where she wants to go.
To my surprise one after another micro buses came along all people started rushing as if it was some kind of race and within a minute or so it was heavily packed. Yet, I requested the conductor and the driver to manage seat for that lady but none did. The traffics were chasing the vehicles, whistling hard asking them to move faster. I felt so bad thinking that she might have to go with this everyday and who counts how many times a day. Damn it!!
To add up, one of the driver asked to come few steps ahead signalling that the seat will be managed. And fuck that driver by the time I walked 2 steps with her, he drove off in no time. Even till now nobody, literally nobody came up to help. Everyone was seeing it all, they could have took a step back and helped her get in first, but no, our society is filled with social sites freak who only tend to click pictures and posts them so that they can get notifications of “RIP”, “So sad to hear that” comments in their posts. Their mind can never be broadened enough to do something beyond that. I despise the residents of this society who belong to that category.
Finally, one micro came which was quite empty and the bus-stop was less crowded everyone had left by then. So I finally managed to get her in the vehicle in the front seat of the micro and she bid a farewell by saying, “Thank you”.
I felt a bliss after hearing those two words. After requesting the driver to help her reach to Lagankhel, I finally continued my walk to my office.
I am writing this because I wander how many people really stand up for someone. Someone who is in real need of help. It is really disheartening to witness such literate people ignoring such incidents. Those profit-based service providers refusing to provide proper service and playing with someone’s sentiments. Such little things matters if not to you to the person you are offering help to.
I just want to request to whoever is reading this today, if you ever get a chance to help someone do not be that stupid literate fool, instead take a step ahead to create an example. It starts from you and it starts now, right from this moment.
(The conversation was held in my native language – Nepali.)