Real Samaritans may their tribe multiplay!
Excited by the mega survey on Tuesday, a Facebook status of a city teen read, “With the survey in place, the streets are deserted.
Excited by the mega survey on Tuesday, a Facebook status of a city teen read, “With the survey in place, the streets are deserted. It is indeed the best time for a long ride.” But unlike what the teen felt like doing, Wanderers-Bulleteers of Hyderabad took their sense of duty and responsibility a little seriously. This heavy duty convoy of bikers on their Royal Enfields became the Good Samaritans for the people who were stranded across different parts of the city. With no mode of transportation available for many, the bikers took the mantle of transporting them to their intended destinations. All for Free!
On Monday night, Rahul Saxena, an RTI activist and member of the Wanderers, instructed fellow members of the team to fuel up their petrol tanks for the next day. “People would be stranded at bus stations and railway stations. We can have a few riders helping commuters reach their homes in the city in the absence of autos, taxis and buses. I don't know how the government plans to tackle this issue but we at least have to give it a shot,” he wrote on their group page.
“By Monday night, we readied a team of 10 riders including Venkat Sainath, Derick Saldanha, Shravan Deshmukh, Lokesh, Swagat Pattnaik, Madan Sai Nagilla, Praveen Ochani, Christuffer Mathew and Jagan Mohan,” Rahul said. “All of us met at General Post Office (GPO), Abids at 10 am,” he added.
By the time the riders had reached the GPO the number had already grown from 10 to over 35, many of whom were volunteering to be Good Samaritans. Ace rider Kaleem Ma also joined in.
With the increase in the number of riders, four teams were made. “The first team went to Secunderabad Railway Station, the next team to Jubilee Bus Station, the third to Central Bus Station and the fourth to Nampally Railway Station,” he informed.
A few members were also stationed outside the GPO, Abids, to attend to emergencies. Each rider transported around eight to ten persons on the day.
Talking about the experience, Rahul says, “It was one crazy ride. With no transportation in place, many enumerators were also stranded. Our riders took them to their destinations. Many tourists who had come to the city were oblivious of the survey. We took them to their hotels and a few to the places where they wanted to go.”
“A stranded couple at the railway station, a large family and lots of other people were dropped at their destinations. A priest was overjoyed that we were able to drop him off at his place and blessed us for taking up this task. We asked an auto rickshaw driver, one of the few that were working today, if he was charging as per meter, and he said 'Shakal dekh ke paise bolte aaj sahab'. Apart from commuters unaware of the survey, we even picked up cops who were stranded on the road as they didn't have buses or autos to take them to their respective police stations,” he added.
The riders also had to attend to several emergencies; a few who had fallen ill were taken to different hospitals by these riders.
“Our service must send a message to the government and fellow riders and car owners. Whenever there is a bandh or any similar situation, the government forgets to cater to these sorts of issues.
“This attitude of the government must change,” he says. “Considering the fact that only the head of the family was required for the survey other people could have joined in for the cause.”