COVID-19 Warrior: Uttarakhand man uses his car as ambulance in remote hilly regions amid lockdown
With state and district borders sealed and travel services suspended due to nation-wide lock down to contain the coronavirus outbreak, a 32-year-old man from Devprayag in Tehri Garhwal district has started using his car as an ambulance cum essential services delivery vehicle to help people in need.
Ganesh Bhatt, 32, from Devprayag got the idea of using his vehicle as an emergency service after he learnt from a few locals that drivers in the area were scared to take patients to and from hospitals fearing they might contract the virus. Bhatt can be contacted on 9410530387.
“We all know how the healthcare system is in the hilly regions of our state; ambulance services are not efficient even at the best of times and to top that, now local drivers do not want to take people to hospitals even if they are paid Rs 2000, as they are scared they might get infected. So I started using my own car as an ambulance,” said Bhatt.
He started taking people to health centres near his region since March 22 and since then he has helped 24 people get timely treatment, including a pregnant woman.
“I have got distress calls from families of pregnant women who were not able to find ambulances on time. I recently took one woman to a health centre for first aid after she was bitten by a monkey, then a small boy who had fractured his hand. I myself have a one and a half year-old son, but I feel that people need to be helped in this hour of crisis,” he added. He said he constantly santises both his hands and vehicle so that they remain free of the virus.
According to him, he initially offered only emergency services, but now he has started supplying essential items too in his car.
“Following social distancing norms, people call me and tell me to get them medicines, ration and other essential items, so that they don’t have to come out of their houses,” said Bhatt.
Bhatt who ran a computer education centre during the pre-covid-19 days, says he is using the money he has saved to offer his service. “People who have contacted me through social media are also contributing money for fuel. Locals have started calling my car, 109 ambulance service,” says Bhatt