A Good Samaritan is a person who, in good faith, without expectation of payment or reward and without any duty of care or special relationship, voluntarily comes forward to administer immediate assistance or emergency care to a person injured in an accident, crash, emergency medical condition or an emergency situation.
The whole idea of bringing such a Good Samaritan law was to prevent the number of un-attended deaths in the country. Karnataka state took it a step further by giving rewards to those who were brave enough to save a person in distress.
While these rules are generally made for the human part of the society, the other part of the society are animals. An animal, under Section 2(a) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is defined as any living thing that is not a human being. Animal welfare in India is overlooked by the Animal Welfare Board of India which was instituted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act, 1960. The law strictly aims on preventing the assault and harassment of animals as defined in the constitution. Although welfare of animals is being carried out by existing laws, they can be made more effective if the same Good Samaritan concept is applied to Animal Welfare laws.
The Good Samaritan law in India is a new concept and was implemented under the force of law by the Supreme Court of India in 2016. The principle of having a Good Samaritan law for animals helps us in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Principle 15 talks about the protection of life on land followed by Principle 16 which talks about life under water.
Animals go through all sorts of troubles to adapt to human luxury. They are trapped in environments best suited for our vehicles and needs. The more humans create an environment far from the actual model of how nature intended it to be, the more these animals are affected. Animal welfare boards have to take up their jobs seriously alongside the treatment centers who have to be aware of their surroundings. Like there are surveys for animals such as the Great Bengal Tiger, there must be surveys as the population of animals in a district. At risk species are not the only ones that deserve care and protection. Just because a species is present in abundance in the society, it does not mean that we can let a few of them perish. It is our responsibility as a more intellectually capable species to take care of those that are suffering, especially due to our developments. Climate change, pollution and rapid urbanisation are already major factors that have put the lives of all species at risk. At least we must maintain the bio-diversity that is currently available as any system topples when there is no proper food chain that can carry on the process of formation of life and the end of it. Perhaps the best sci-fi moment of the century has been the evolution of human beings which unfortunately is neither amusing nor entertaining to the animals who survive their monstrosities.
There is no liability on a person bringing forward an injured animal as he or she would when a human in distress is brought. However, most people still do not pay attention to the animals who are injured on the roadsides just because of the fact that they will have to pay out of their pockets to treat the animal. Rewarding a person who brings an animal to a shelter or a veterinarian hospital would be the ideal solution but since it is not even being done for a human in the first place, this is bound to be considered an absurd undertaking.
In my opinion, all emergency operations for animals, pets or stray must be made free of charge and there should be a budget regarding the same. Humans can show that they care by setting up institutions and authorities such as the Animal welfare boards but the ground reality is that the needs of such living things are neglected and given the least importance. The government must put out public campaigns expressing the importance of feeding the animals who live nearby people’s houses. It is not too much work for a family to feed one stray dog a day. The negative stigma that has formed around animals being dangerous has to be addressed because only a small portion of the animals in the urban environment are harmful and only retaliate back when they are harmed. If this stigma is effectively removed and every person in the society begins to treat animals with care, the animal’s life will be changed completely. A small move by us can cause a big change in the lives of the other species.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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