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Hassle of helping

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th October 2012 02:29 PM

Finding a good Samaritan in our midst is like finding a needle in sand. Granted, we don’t have a culture of courtesy and open kindness but even the seed that could be germinating within us is shriveling fast.

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By Shamilla S. Kara

It’s distressing how conditions have changed the moral rectitude of Ugandans these days. 

Finding a good Samaritan in our midst is like finding a needle in sand. Granted, we don’t have a culture of courtesy and open kindness but even the seed that could be germinating within us is shriveling fast. 

Doing a good deed is not commendable in our society anymore; helping has become a hassle. Nowadays, we cannot help people for fear of the tribulations that ensue. 

One goes in with a kind heart to help, and comes out as the wolf in sheep skin. 

A bewildering situation is with accident victims; why is it that the good samaritan who picks a victim from the road always receives a rough reception? This is especially so at the clinic or hospital where they have taken the accident victim, and with the Police. 

Understandably in the case of the Police, anyone is a suspect and the stranger could be the suspect. But at that point where the health of the victim is of chief importance than nabbing the culprit, isn’t it honourable that the ‘suspect’ did not hit and run away from their responsibility? 

And what happens in the event that they are harassed and treated as culprits yet they are not guilty? There goes the end of individuals who espouse goodwill towards fellow human beings. 

If authorities scare the guts out of people who dare to help, how then should we expect the level of kindness of Ugandans to grow? 

Recently, a friend was driving out of a petrol station near a market place when she heard a thump behind her car. A guy with a big dressing on the head had fallen behind her car, almost at the edge of the wheel. 

Panic gripped her, not because she thought she was guilty, but by the anticipation of how the scene would unravel against her. Luckily for her, an onlooker laughed it off while another jokingly told her, “the guy was about to bump your car had you not moved fast”. 

And with that, she was released from the saga and zoomed away fast leaving a growing crowd around the man, still in the middle of the road.

When her brain resumed function minutes later, she tried to piece together the whole picture at the scene: “the big dressing on the man’s head could have been from a recent accident,” she thought. “Maybe a brush with a boda-boda?, in which case, the man could have been hemorrhaging internally and that would have been the cause of that sudden fall,” she concluded. 

But as much as she deliberated, she could not bring herself to go back and help the poor fellow. 

She wondered who would save the poor man from the excited crowd she had seen converging. 

Every second her heart pumped for the poor man, her brain brought an ugly image of the scene she had escaped from. 

All the stories of friends who helped such victims and were quizzed till the wee hours of mornings or told to pay medical bills for the victims came to her mind. She eventually erased herself of the thoughts of going to help him, albeit with a heavy heart. 

It’s hard to tell what happened to the bandaged man, but my friend cannot forgive herself for not helping that night. 

It was a wise decision on her part though; she would have put herself in danger while trying to help. 

It has always been advised that the safest way to help a road accident victim is in the presence of a police person; so that they can protect you and also vouch for your innocence.

Individuals have become hesitant to help accident victims due to fear of being incriminated by authorities. File photo
 

Hassle of helping

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