A month-old baby lies sandwiched between the tracks while a train passes over him in front of the agitation of those present on the platform of Mathura, in the State of Uttar Pradesh, in northern India. The final images show the child crying in the arms of relatives, who treat him as one of his numerous gods.
In another video, an adult walks with reckless tranquility on the tracks of the Anantapur station in the south of the country and where the Vicente Ferrer Foundation has its local headquarters, Spanish NGO for development, when the locomotive starts moving. Unprepared, the individual chooses to lie on his back on the tracks, arms crossed, while the train picks up speed on his body. The sequence also ends with the aforementioned miraculously emerging from the mishap, shaking off the dusty white shirt.
The two events, with happy ending shared on social networks, coincided in the week that commemorated the World Day in Remembrance of the Victims of Traffic Accidents, held on Monday, November 18 and, only in India, honors about 150,000 deaths annually -15 deadly losses per hour, a country that accounts for 12.5% of total vehicle collisions around the world.
Road accidents in India are joined by the tens of thousands of annual incidents related to trains; main means of public transport in a territory that has the fourth largest national rail network in the world, used by some 23 million passengers daily. Specifically, a government report, from the year 2012, described the death of 15,000 annual train passengers as a “massacre”.
When they are not travelers who evade level crossings and cross the tracks, as in the case of video, they are passengers who violate safety instructions. In total, 49,790 people have been killed for this reason in India between 2015 and 2017 despite the fact that such behavior is punishable with arrest and economic fines by the railway’s law of India. But the fact that almost 176,000 people were arrested for crossing the train tracks, and fined a total of 4.5 million euros, shows that it is a problem of education and control by travelers, drivers and authorities.
The last serious train accident, just over a month ago, is a sign of the lack of prudence on all sides. Then, the authorities of the town of Amritsar, in the northern state of Punjab, had no problem in gathering thousands of people for a celebration in a space on the outskirts of the city near the train tracks, devoid of barriers or fences that delimited the area.
Waiting to see the fireworks show, after burning the effigy that crowns the religious festival of Dussehra (one of the most important celebrations of the Hindu calendar), the express of Jalandhar-Amritsar attacked the crowd that occupied the tracks, scattering bodies dismembered by the place and leaving 62 fatalities and a hundred injured.
The driver swore he had not seen the crowd at night, and the railway authorities said they were not informed of the event, despite the fact that the organizers have been celebrating it in the same place for years. Beyond the punctual responsibilities, the monthly assiduity of accidents related to collision with vehicles passing level crossings or derailments underscores the absence of awareness.
In 1981, seven wagons of a train rushed from a bridge in the state of Bihar, killing around a thousand passengers. More recently, in April of this year, 13 children perished after their school bus was struck by a train crossing an uncontrolled pass in the underdeveloped State of Uttar Pradesh.
As a result of the latest incident, the Ministry of Railways has announced the construction of 3,000 kilometers of fences of about three meters in residential areas.
For example, in the city of Bombay with a local train system that accommodates the majority of its 22 million inhabitants and shantytowns built on the edge of the train tracks, reports indicate that the invasions of the lanes will they must to the absence of barricades and fences, to the insufficient level bridges and the refusal of the travelers to use these steps. This demonstrates the need to invest in road safety education and civics, as well as infrastructure and the strengthening of the law.
NISHA PATEL is on the partner and marketing executive at midwaychronicle.com. She previously worked as Internet marketing and online promotion executive. She likes to write on current events which matter to her readers.