Saturday, 19 October 2013

If only……..

She looked out of the window. The sight of the young couple on the platform brought a smile to her lips. "Aha! Newly married," she said to herself. Prashanth’s smiling face came to mind. Prasanth was her fiancé. The engagement had taken place just a fortnight ago. Prasanth and his parents had wanted to have the marriage solemnized in a month’s time but had reluctantly given in to her pleadings. It was finally decided to solemnize the wedding after a year. Prasanth knew he could easily get another bride. Yet, it was Divya’s simplicity, her love for her family that attracted him. At their first meeting itself he knew that she was the perfect match for him and so did his parents.    

Divya’s childhood had not been a bed of roses. Having lost her father at a very early age, her mother had to struggle to make both ends meet. She had brought up both Divya and Sai, doing odd jobs in the neighbouring houses. Now that Divya was employed, she had taken up the responsibility of educating Sai. Sai was in his final year at the local polytechnic and Divya was bent on seeing him settled in a good job. Prasanth understood Divya’s constraint and had agreed to wait for one more year.

So lost was Divya in her thoughts that she did not notice the compartment emptying. Sitting there all alone in the Ladies Compartment, she dreamt of a happy life with Prasanth. Yes, she would leave her job at the Supermarket in Kochi and would take up a job at Palakkad where Prasanth was working and settled. The daily travel from Shornur to Kochi was tiring. Her mother was there to take care of the house. But, after marriage Prasanth and his parents would be her responsibility. She would not be able to do justice to them if she had to commute daily from Palakkad to Kochi. No, she must call up Prasanth today itself and request him to start looking out for a suitable job for her.  

The train started to move. The ‘bang’ of the closing door jolted her to the present. She looked around and suddenly realized that she was all alone. The train had left Trissur and was gathering speed. “I must get down and go to the general compartment at the next stop,” she thought.

She once again started gazing out of the window taking in the beauty of the passing greenery.  A bunch of children by the railway track waved at the passing train. Divya could not hold back the urge to wave back. Seeing them, Divya remembered her childhood and the pranks she and Sai played. Even now, though grown –up, both never missed an opportunity to play a trick on the other. “Ah! I must call up Sai and tell him that the train has left Trissur station,” she thought. It was a regular feature. Sai insisted that Divya call him up in between her journey and keep him posted about her whereabouts. The very thought of him made her eyes moist. Sai, her loving brother was always there for her. She knew that even though there was still about half-an-hour for the train to reach Shornur, Sai must have already reached the station. She must buy him a second – hand bike next month, she thought.

A pull at her handbag suddenly jolted Divya from her dreams. Before she could realize what was happening, she felt her bag slid out of her hand. Suddenly, realization dawned on her. She was being robbed. She sprang up to her feet and ran behind the one- legged man. She managed to catch up with him and what ensued was a tussle between the two. Divya managed to get a hold on her bag. She pulled. But what was this, she was high in the air and before she could understand what was happening she was out of the door. She fell among the wayside shrubs, thorns tearing into her skin, her bag still clutched in her hand. Her head throbbed. She tried to get up but could not. The one- legged robber was on her. What followed was the worst that could have happened to any girl.

Alerted by a fellow passenger in the neighbouring compartment, the Guard stopped the train but not before it had traversed 2 kms. People started to search for Divya. The failing light added to their woes. Finally it was more than an hour before they could locate her. She was there before them lying dazed, in a pool of blood.

Divya battled for her life for six long days but in the end death got the better of her and with her died her dreams…. The doctors believed that Divya could have been saved had help reached her within half – an- hour of the accident.

I wish she had a Smart Suraksha with her. Who knows, the app could have helped her contact a friend or acquaintance in one of the neighbouring coaches or even Sai at the click of a button? Maybe they would have got the train to stop immediately thus foiling the fall. Who knows, even if she fell off the train, the app could have helped Sai or someone known to her to locate her position swiftly and ensure that help reached her within those critical few minutes? Who knows….


Lead- up:-

This story I dedicate to Ms. Soumya a 23 year old young lady who met with a similar fate on the Ernakulam- Shornur Passenger train in the first week of February 2011.

Ms. Soumya was all alone in the ladies compartment of the train when she was accosted by Govindaswamy alias Charlie a handicapped drug addict and psychopath who tried to rob her and molest her on the train. Soumya fell out of the train. She was not only raped but was attacked with intent to murder. She received severe injuries on her head. She later succumbed to her injuries. Govindaswamy was sentenced to death in Nov. 2011 by a Fast Track Court.  

This is not a lone case. Day-in-day-out we come across such incidents and it is then we wish we had something that empowers us, something that helps us get help when it matters most. Maybe the Smart Suraksha is one of the answers to the growing concern of ladies around the world. I wish Soumya and many others like her who have fallen victims to robbers, rapists, eve-teasers and other anti-social elements had the Smart Suraksha  with them.

As the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.”  So too would I say, “ Smart Suraksha saves precious time and life.”

I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at in association with Smart Suraksha App.

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