'Her death is an eye-opener for others, big malls need not have medical assistance'.

My sister died as no one helped her brother of woman who choked on food in a Kerala mallLakshmi M Mohan/Facebook
news Safety in malls Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 20:28

What began as a normal day for Dr Lakshmi M Mohan and her husband Siddharth Nair from Thrissur in Kerala, ended in a terrible tragedy, with Lakshmi losing her life in a freak incident.

Dr.Lakshmi M Mohan, who worked at the Government Mental Health Centre in Thrissur decided to visit the Shobha City Mall with her husband on Sunday. After shopping, the duo went up to the food court at the mall. Soon, Lakshmi choked on her food and collapsed. What followed was a twenty minute long struggle to get her to the nearest hospital, only to be declared ‘brought dead’.

Speaking to The NewsMinute, Lakshmi’s elder brother Dinesh held the mall responsible for poor management of the situation that eventually resulted in Lakshmi’s death. 

“There were many things the managers at the mall could and should have done at the moment. To begin with, no announcement was made by the mall managers informing others about the crisis. Anybody who was present at the mall could have been a doctor, who would have been able to save my sister’s life. But the concerned people took no such steps. After the delay in fetching a wheelchair, my brother-in-law and a couple of security guards who came up to help them had to wait for almost ten minutes because the lifts were crowded. No instruction was given to the people in the lift about such an emergency.”

Dinesh emphasized the lack of first aid measures and lack of someone to take charge of such a situation, as the two main complaints against the mall. “We cannot say that everybody needs to know how to provide first-aid. But, at such a prestigious mall like Shobha City, where hundreds of people including pregnant women, children and senior citizens visit daily, it is shocking to know that there is absolutely no medical assistance provided and no manager to handle such a crisis,” he said.

The laxity on the part of the mall authorities continued as Lakshmi’s husband was informed that the ambulance that is normally stationed at the mall was not available. Too rattled to have brought out his personal vehicle from the parking spot, he hired the first auto rickshaw in sight.

“The responsibility of the mall staff ended right outside the main entrance. No concerned managers tried to get in touch with us, nor did they give an explanation for having shown such irresponsible behavior,” Dinesh said. Saying that his immediate concerns were to bring his parents from Gujarat, he condemned the mall’s crisis management mechanism. “We could move legally against the mall, but I am well aware that a legal battle is not the solution for our loss. Practically speaking, we are middle class people and can never fight against such big shots like the Shobha group. All I want is this accident to be an eye-opener for others,” Dinesh said.

Mall authorities were not available for comment at the time of publication.

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