When integrity goes to dogs, what happens? Perhaps one becomes sceptical about helping people! My heart goes out for the human civilisation as I narrate the incident that happened with me last Saturday.
In the midst of rain and traffic, I struggled my way to Lado Sarai for some personal work oblivious to the fact that I was on my way to get duped. So the incident takes place near the traffic signal of IIT Fly over, the signal being red there was a huge que of cars, autos and bikes waiting in patience for the signal to go green. And around the bumper to bumper still traffic there were kids selling flowers, balloons, earphones etc. etc trying to earn money for one time meal for themselves and their families.
As I awaited for the signal to go green, I heard a loud knock on the glass window of my taxi. From misty window panes due to the high air conditioner of the taxi, I could see a lady with poverty struck face, and eyes welled up signalling me for help; I out of sympathy, immediately rolled down the window and inquired with her what the matter is? And now I feel that happened to be my biggest mistake; showing sympathy to someone I don’t know.
However, as I rolled down the window of my taxi, the lady who would be in her mid 50s said, “humari madad karo” (Please help us); pointing towards one of the other two ladies who were with her but standing at a distance, she continued her story and said, “yeh maa banne waali hai, isko hospital nahi leke gaye tho mar jayegi, aap bhi ek aurat ho, iski izzat bacha lo” (She is about to deliver a baby, we need to take her to the hospital immediately. you are also a woman, please help). I was shocked to see that such is the state of poor in the city, that a new life is about to come to the world but due to financial crises medical attention is far away from their reach.
However, I was not sure whether I was numbed because of the situation or hearing the excruciating labour pain of the pregnant woman. I had read somewhere that a woman while delivering a child experiences pain of 206 bones crushing at one time. Something in me, probably my soul was shaken to the core and without a second being wasted I decided to help the ladies. I inquired with them about the hospital where they wish to take the pregnant woman and I was promptly informed that they wish to take her to Lady Hardinge hospital and taxi drivers are charging for Rs 490 as fare till the hospital. The lady now almost pleading sought my help and I in a fraction of second pulled out Rs 500 and handed over it to her and told her to take the pregnant woman to the hospital.
All these happened very quickly, and in the meantime the signal turned green and my cab moved forward and I was on my way towards my destination. I was happy, a smile was pasted on my face, have a peaceful feeling that I managed to help one needy person, did I good deed today. As I was lost in my thought, my phone buzzed and I did not expected it to not only break my thoughts but also make me feel miserable for the rest of the day. The call was from my boyfriend who had earlier too called up while I was playing Mother Teresa. As I was proud of myself, I eagerly narrated him the entire incident and waited for words of appreciation. However what he said just woke me up from my slumber. He asked me “tumne unhe paise tho nahi de diye (I hope you haven’t given them any money)”. Those words with a bit of suspicion stuck like a lightening and I realised that I had been duped and fell prey to a gang that dupe people with such modus operandi. I was so mad at myself, upset and also angry. I called up the Delhi Police and narrated them the whole incident and told the cops to ensure that they are arrested and no one else is duped like me and in case it turns out to be genuine case (which in my heart, I wanted it to be) please help them reach the hospital. The police registered my complain and promised to look into the matter; the complaint was further sent to the Hauz Khas Police Station and the Head Constable – Devender was assigned to look into the matter.
Within an hours’ time, I received a call from the cops that they have been unable to reach the IIT flyover due to rain and traffic and with the updates they have received from the area, there are no such ladies around.
The incident with me took place around 1 pm in the afternoon and I finished my work around 4.30 PM. I decided to take the same route back, hoping to locate those women. This time in my quest to find the truth about the ladies I decided to hail an auto, instead of a cab. In the auto I started small talks with the auto driver about how people on the traffic signals and how they fool people for money. The auto driver narrated some horrible stories about how a lady on one of the traffic signal use to drug kids and beg money from people saying that the kid was dead. Soon I was at the same spot where I was taken for a ride a couple of hours back by a gang of women. I told the auto guy about the ladies I was looking for while I still didn’t tell him the reason behind this exercise, thinking that the driver will think of me being really stupid. I wasn’t looking for a refund but I wanted to complete this and now stay in a state of oblivion my entire life thinking that I actually helped someone in need or was fooled.
Luck was on my side or probably God was, I saw those ladies! Yeah, exactly the same ladies, wearing the same outfit! Now it was confirmed, I had been duped! I immediately called up the Cops and they directed me to speak to Head Constable Devender at Huaz Khas PS; I called up Mr. Devender but he refused to come, instead he told me that giving money to people is a criminal offence so I have no right to complain. I tried reaching out to the SHO but India mein police time pe tho kabhi milti nahi (you don’t get police to help you in time of crisis). I asked the auto guy to park the auto on the side and in the meanwhile I decided to follow the ladies. The ladies at the signal were still trying to make some quick money cooking up their sad tale. I went and held hand of the Chief Lady (Out of the three lady, the one who sold her sorry saga to me and negotiated with the so called taxi guy). I said to the woman “aunty, aapko hospital jaana haina, chalo main chod deti hoon” (Aunty, you want to go to the hospital, I’ll drop you); the lady all shocked looked at me and said, “nahi mera thekedaar aa gaya hain, wo leke jayega” (My head of the family is here, he’ll take us to the hospital). I further said, “aree aapko maine aaj subah paise diye the hospital jaane k liye, aise kaise, ab chalo” (I had given you money in the morning to go to the hospital, you have to come with me). The moment she heard my words, she along with the other two ladies ran in full speed; the people on the street saw them run for their life. I further spoke to the vendors on the street trying to figure out how frequently these ladies come etc. Nothing very helpful information was available, but I was able to get a closure to my curiosity . I further decided to peruse the SHO on this but he seems to be just not available, so I guess I’ll walk up to the PS on of these days and have a conversation in person.
All that I have to say is, yes I have been duped, cheated etc. etc. and this incident will always hold me back to help; but it’s still important to help, we just need to be more watchful and careful in figuring out who truly deserves help. Stay safe and stay away from such rackets!
(The author is NewsMobile iJourno)