General Studies Paper 4 (Ethics): Human actions

Ethics Case Study

IAS Junior Mains Answer Writing June-Sep 2019 Schedule (Click Here)


Syllabus: General Studies Paper 4 (Ethics)


Case Study: Consequences of Ethics in human actions

You are stranded in traffic in your car. You are driving the car. A poor girl looking very frail approaches you and start begging for money. Looking at her frail appearance, out of compassion, you take out your wallet to search for a ten Rupees note. The girl who is standing very near to you snatches the wallet and starts running. A man on a motorbike who see this act, catches the girl and starts beating her in full view of public. Now the traffic is moving and your car is in the middle of the road. 

What will you do in such a situation? And why? 


First of all, as a human being I am supposed to help my fellow humans in their hour of need and therefore, I tried to help her by giving some money.

The girl on the other hand steals my wallet from this I can understand her desperation for money, but the act of steeling was wrong and is not the way for her to solve her problem. Therefore, in her desperation, she has done something that would ensure that no one else trusts her again. As well, by snatching the wallet she hurts me when I wanted to help her. This voids basic human values.

On the other hand, though the man was right in chasing the girl as he wanted to help me get my wallet back which had important stuff including money. But the man in his anger went overboard and started beating her. Being violent can’t be a solution to tell someone’s fault.

Since the traffic has started moving, I can also move on ignoring, but that would be unethical on my part if I didn’t react to the situation happened. Therefore, I would take the following steps:

  • I would first park my car in order to avoid any inconvenience to daily commuters.
  • Then, I will ask the person to stop beating the child and explain him that beating her is not the solution to it.
  • I will try to know the reason behind girl’s behaviour, and if the reason is genuine and she needs money urgently, in that I case will help her with the money I have.
  • I would also explain her that stealing is not a good thing and it is not the permanent solution to her problem. And ask her not to repeat the same in future.
  • I would call up an NGO who may help her in getting enrolled in the school and give her the basic care.
  • I would be in touch with NGO to keep a track of her development and to provide support in case it’s required.


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