Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng recently asked 11 Caring Commuter Award 2021 winners and award nominees “What does it take to be a Caring Commuter?” over two Zoom engagement sessions, to get their thoughts and hear their experiences.
The key takeaway? There’s a Caring Commuter in every single one of us. We just have to be attentive, open and willing to step forward!
Characteristics of a Caring Commuter
During the lively engagement sessions, the Caring Commuters consistently highlighted three characteristics that we can all adopt, when encountering other commuters in need.
1. Being attentive to your surroundings
“Be curious and mindful of your surroundings” advised Ms. Pillai Anju, a nurse at NKF Singapore and one of the winners of the 2021 Caring Commuter (Outstanding) Award. “You never know when someone might need help but is unable or afraid to ask. By being observant, you can take the initiative to offer a hand,” she added.
2. Being approachable and open
“Sometimes, people need help, but are afraid to intrude,” explained Mr. Mohd Asyraf Bin Riduwan, a nursing student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Caring Commuter Award 2021 nominee. He revealed how people tended to approach him for help when his body language was more open, such as when he was in a relaxed posture or had removed his earbuds.
3. Being willing to step forward
“I believe Singaporeans want to help, but tend to be shy. They just need a nudge to step forward.” said Mr Buvan Esan, a National Serviceman and Caring Commuter Award 2021. He further elaborated, “Being more vocal, such as announcing that someone needs CPR, is one way to get others to help when you’re not trained to do so yourself.”
Ms. Ariane Quimno Bermoy, nurse at NKF Singapore and another winner of the 2021 Caring Commuter (Outstanding) Award, concurred, “You can help by calling 995 and alerting the station staff for assistance.” Caring commuters who wish to assist in emergencies may also choose to take up CPR courses.
Anyone can be a Caring Commuter
Off the back of both engagement sessions, SPS Baey pointed out that we can start small and play our part to build a Caring Commuting Culture.
One of the Caring Commuter Award 2021 nominees, Mr. Malcolm Ravindran aptly shared, “We can’t just train and impart these behaviours – Reinforcing these behaviours is very cultural in that regard. It has to start small and build up. Sometimes, it’s as simple as checking in on the auntie who needs a seat, or helping her to stand somewhere safer.”
Such a Caring Commuter Culture will go a long way towards safer, friendlier journeys on public transport for all, where “one good deed deserves another,” as envisioned by Mr. Thirunavukkarasu Srinivasan, Healthcare Assistant and Caring Commuter Award 2021 winner.
Let’s move in the right direction today! Take your first step by signing up as a Caring Commuter Champion!