Ernest Dempsey — August 14, 2012 marked Pakistan’s 65th Independence Day. This is the time for celebration and those most ecstatic in the celebrations on the night of August 14 are young guys. Sadly, teenagers have taken to a mode of showing excitement that puts their safety, even life at risk – namely, on bikes.
On August 14, hundreds of teens take out their motorbikes; many get on their bicycles; and they take to the roads in full speed. Many start showing feats of bike riding on a single wheel, some assuming unseal and risky postures like lying flat on the bike and holding the handlebars straight via feet. Many different styles of such risky sporting with a sad consequence in many cases, i.e. a road accident that leaves the young enthusiast in the orthopedic ward of a hospital.
Not discussing the noise and disturbance this raging storm of bikes causes on the night of August 14, the suicidal style of playing with the bike on busy roads and streets not only compromises the bikers’ own safety but that of virtually everybody who happens to be around. The incidence of this craze is alarming. Though not reported in detail by the country’s media sources, a fresh report published in an online paper informs that 38 people were hurt the other day in a single city due to this madness. If we had well-trained, professional and resourceful media in the country, the exact number of those injured would perhaps scare the government into declaring a state of emergency.
Certainly, it is the inefficiency of the authorities to fail in stopping this dangerous exhibit of stunts on roads. But equally, or more so, it is the lack of true education and valuelessness of life among the general public that materializes as accident and injury. The availability of special schemes for purchase of bikes on easy monthly installments has brought a motor bike to an average house which otherwise would even claim poverty and eligibility for aid. Yet, there is no scheme to sell these masses some sense of responsibility toward the lives of their children and toward their fellow Pakistanis.
Injuries from the Independence Day stunt shows in Pakistan stand as one example of how ill-educated nations turn everything into a disease – even a means of transportation.