911 vs 100: A Realistic Review


dial 100

By Ankit Chandra

Yes. I plan to compare the two numbers. There are many factors to look at, and I will try to sum them up as precisely as possible…

Ask any American, or watch enough Hollywood movies and you will see that 911 is something that Americans use very frequently, for things as small as sticking your hand to something very embarrassing (in American Pie) to something much bigger as in Die Hard… But you get the picture… as soon as there is any situation of any kind and severity, 911 is one of the first things they will think of. Efficiency of this system is so good that you are almost assured a response in minutes wherever you are in the country. There is proper research done while making roads, to ensure that any part of a city is reachable in 2-10 minutes from the nearest Police patrol (my ex roommate was working for a firm that did this research)

100 on the other hand usually has a fleeting reference in the heads of Indians. Should something go wrong, the first set of people we think about are our neighbors, or friends. In some cases, we probably don’t even want to get involved with the police. Like Hollywood in previous case, if you watch enough Bollywood movies, you will see that people do not usually want the police to get involved, or the police any how comes only when the hero has beaten the crap out of the villain, despite the absence of police. What I imply from this is that police is at least considered inept, or inconsiderate, or untrustworthy.

But if I think deeper about this, the differences don’t just stay as mere facts and jokes as above… They begin to show the vast difference that exists between the two countries.

To implement a system like 911, a few basic things are needed. First it needs to be such a dependable system that time and again, anywhere, anyhow, should there be an emergency, some help should be able to reach the victim. It is only then that a person will trust this 3 digit number so much to remember, and call, this number when their life is in danger. In addition, this number should be able to give you the warmth that you would have no inhibitions in trusting them for any situation of any sort. Third, the versatility of this number should be such that this number can handle any kind and severity of situation.

These are just a few components that go into making this system work. Any person in Process Management would tell you that this calls for operational efficiency, and that too of a very high standard, because it deals with lives of people. Implementing this, even in a small society of 200 apartments is such a huge pain. I can tell you this by my experience in getting an electrician to fix a power cut in my apartment in Delhi.

Now imagine implementing this at the level of a nation. One of the world’s biggest nations by land size and population. But this has been implemented here in the US. And everytime I think of this system, and dare to compare it to 100, I first get awestruck, and then get upset.

Why can’t India implement a system like that? What’s stopping us? Don’t we deserve to have such a system to help us lead a better life? Must our loved ones die waiting for help to arrive? Or worse still. die waiting because the PM is visiting the Hospital?

It needs will which is easy to say, but much more difficult to implement. It is also dependent on how strongly people ask for this, and make this (instead of speaking Marathi in Maharashtra) a political issue. And that comes from social awareness. That is VERY different from education, which is again VERY different from literacy… A nation of 1 billion, with most people not even knowing the significance/value of such a system is where we lack the point. And I think the most critical role here is to be played by the middle class in India. I belong to it, and by having studied in US now, I know what we lack. There are many more middle class students who have been lucky enough to see and understand the difference between the two systems. Now that we are ‘aware’ we must pass this on, and strive to make everyone aware of this.

It is only when people are aware of this that leaders will rise, and take this issue further, and even take it on to them to implement this. And then we will have someone to vote for. Then we could also look at appointment of competent officers in implementing this system, and much more importantly, sustaining it.

The best way to resolve our issues is to move bottom up. And for that we need to be aware…

  • ReThink911 (careandwashingofthebrain.blogspot.com)
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