Over the last week, I came face to face with 3 young adult deaths. In the present world, in spite of all the modern developments in the field of healthcare sciences, the fact remains that people continue to die young. The reason I narrate these 3 instances is because the different causes of death in each of these cases are the leading causes of death in the young adult. And the most important aspect of all the 3 causes is that - all of them could have been prevented.
The first one is that of someone I'll call AM. I came to know of AM's death through the newspaper. AM was the son of one of the well known sweet shop owners in our capital town. The reason I know them is because I used to be a regular customer in this shop for their Dahi Vadas and AM's dad had somehow made a note of my regular visits. It was not difficult for him to guess that I was not a local guy and my Hindi must have given my South Indian identity away. One of the last visits, he made it a point to pick up a conversation with me. The reason was to advise AM about his future. The dad was bent upon making him an engineer. So, the next time I visit, I agreed to talk to AM. AM was summoned the next time I was in the shop. He was also equally interested and we had a good discussion time of chit chat.
Now, the story is how AM died. AM had a liking for bikes. And it was reported in the papers that he was trying to ride his friend's bike in one wheel - the way you see in the stunt ride shows. Well, somewhere he had slipped - and went straight under a heavy truck's back wheel. He died after reaching the hospital. His friend, the owner of the bike, who was pillion riding escaped with not-so-serious head injuries. Both of them were not wearing helmets. AM was just 18.
The second is that of NN - relatives of one of our staff. 22 year old - just on the verge of being called for a job. He had finished his ITI. He had finished his dinner and was just getting out of his parents' newly built house. It was a bit wet because of the occasional rains. He had slipped somewhere and had fallen on to the ground where his head hit against a stone. There was a big wound in the head. He died on the way to hospital.
The third happened last week. SS, 18 year old girl who used to live along with a couple friend of mine in their home. SS was a distant orphaned relative of my friend. This couple friend had helped SS complete her 10th standard examinations and was exploring options on how they could help her find a foothold in life. Somewhere along SS had come to the conclusion that she was a burden to everybody around her. And she decided to end her life by hanging on her own dupata. It has been heartwrenching for my friends - they have ended up in a quandry after trying to help SS out. Had SS even mentioned about her thoughts about this to them, this could have been avoided.
So, the next time you find a young man trying to ride his bike without a helmet - advise him about the advantages of wearing a helmet as well as driving with care. There are dangers lurking in the form of slippery floors, unsafe electrical connections, illegal gas connections and faulty gas stoves, unsafe furniture etc in many of our homes. They could be the death knell for our own loved and dear ones. We need to pro-actively get involved in the emotional lives of our youth. Many of them live in fairy tale palaces made in air - with no amount of reality in them. The modern media has been fuelling such thoughts which do not have any amount of reasoning in them.
Young adult deaths are preventable. The question is about how much we have the time, patience and will power to address the issues which cause such preventable deaths. I know the stories similiar to the above 3 are so familiar to many of us. But 3 deaths happening within one week prompted me to put a note about this.