Few days back I was travelling in the ac bus from Churchgate (South Mumbai) to Goregaon (North Mumbai). An hour into the journey, I noticed two bags hanging in front of me. With the multiple bomb blasts that Mumbai had witnessed in the last few years, I asked people around me as to who owned the bags. No one answered. I got a little concerned, so I asked a well dressed gentleman standing in the aisle if he could ask as well. To my surprise he just stared at me and continued conversing with his lady friend. I saw the conductor at the back and told him loudly in Marathi to enquire about the bags. He looked as if in a daze. Perhaps he was tired after a long days work. After a while two women at the back yelled back that the bags belonged to them. Matter over.
What concerned me was not that the man did not help me. What concerned me was that the employee of the government – the bus conductor seemed not at all worried. Maybe there was nothing to worry about but unowned bags lying around should be a cause for concern for all. We see signs everywhere. Do not touch unknown items, report to the nearest cop, police or someone with authority. However, in practice, those in authority seem apathetic.
The State government spends millions on security related issues. But if people in the frontline are not trained to intercept or intervene at appropriate moments then the whole thing is futile. Security consciousness needs to start at the bottom, at the front line. Now, the situation seems like the central monitoring team will see a man stealing a woman’s purse through the CCTV network. But a cop standing at that very location does nothing. Training has to be in real time and has to be ingrained within people at local touchpoints.