Losing A Child In A Road Accident: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare
Behind each statistic, there is a story of a father or mother, son or daughter, brother or sister, colleague or friend, whose life has been transformed in an instant by a road crash. Kong Posh and Asha lost their 19-year-old son in a road accident in 2012 when a speeding motorcycle, which had 3 youngsters riding it, hit him. Yousmann Bazaz was walking with two of his friends close to his college (Amity University) in Noida in the afternoon around 1 pm. The impact of the triple riders on the bike, which is illegal, was such that Yousmann hit his head on the pavement. The head injury was so severe that on reaching the hospital he was put on a ventilator but could not regain consciousness and passed away on the 12th day after he met with the fatal accident.
“This is something we have to live with all our life, only the family understands and deals with the loss each day”, said Asha, Yousmann’s mother.
“It was as if our family had all died together but then we had to start again, to begin again a new life. To lose a child is an inversion of the natural order of life,” she added.
It was after Yasu’s death, as his parents fondly called him that they started an NGO in his name Yousmann Bazaz Memorial Society (YBMS) under which they started working on various projects. Raising awareness about road safety, financially helping road accident victims and also arranging blood donation camps, were some of the issues the couple started focusing on.
Another issue that Yousmann’s parents realized after this tragedy was the lack of awareness among people about organ donation in India and now the NGO is also working on awareness about organ donation.
In 2004, Kong Posh’s mother, a retired school principal also witnessed a similar experience when she met with an accident while she was going for her morning walk in the capital’s Hauz Khas area. A car driven by a young boy who was learning how to drive hit her. The impact of the hit was so hard that she fell on one side hitting her head on a boulder after which she immediately started bleeding. Later she was operated on at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where the damaged part of her brain had to be removed. She was lucky to survive but was never her normal self again.
“Careless or negligent driving by someone especially youngsters causes a complete emotional, psychological upheaval in the family of the victim. If the member survives like mom did, the incident is gradually forgotten but in the case of my nephew he was just walking on the road; not drunk, not driving, not over speeding and we have lost him forever” said Virni Agarwal, Yousmann’s Aunt.
Very often the motorists or drivers do not care for other road users and disregard the law. But those who bear the brunt of such recklessness are not just individuals but at times entire families. While it’s heartening to see people like Kong Posh and Asha, coping with their loss and at the same time trying to raise awareness about road safety, responsible driving, can it reverse the disturbing trend and save precious lives?