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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Telangana man launches ‘ambulance service’ to ferry drunks home safely

Avula Gopal Reddy, a social activist from Jangamrayi village in Medak district, has converted his car into an “ambulance” to transport drunken people to their homes and help them avoid paying any fine to the police.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2018 17:39 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
A puja being performed before the launch of the ambulance facility.
A puja being performed before the launch of the ambulance facility.(Screengrab)

It’s election season in Telangana and habitual drinkers are going to be the merriest as political parties tend to supply their workers and voters with alcohol to lure them as the polling day approaches.

But, there is a problem. The party workers and voters after having their fill at wine shops or bars are liable to be caught as police set up checkpoints on roads to catch them and impose heavy penalties for “drunken driving.”

Avula Gopal Reddy, a social activist from Jangamrayi village in Medak district, has come up with an innovative solution to their problem.

He has converted his car into an “ambulance” to transport such drunks to their respective homes without having to pay any fine to the waiting police and, of course, prevent them from meeting with accidents. Reddy formally launched the facility at Chinna Sankarampet town on Tuesday by performing a puja.

“Whoever needs the service after finishing their drinks at a permit room in a wine shop or a bar, they can give a call to my number 9848867779. I will send the ambulance to pick them from the spot and drop them at their respective homes, without charging a penny,” he said.

Reddy, who said he has never consumed alcohol, also floated the Telangana Tagubothula Committee or Committee for Telangana Boozers to express his solidarity with them but pointed out it does not mean he supports the consumption of alcohol.

“But the government itself is promoting liquor consumption by giving permits to wine shops and bars liberally and is getting a huge revenue from them. What is surprising is that the same government is imposing heavy penalties on them while they drive back to their homes. So, it is a double income for the government,” he alleged.

Reddy said that such people are caught by the police, who then conduct breath analyzing tests and impose heavy penalties on them, ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000, and are at times also sent to jail.

He demanded that the government should not collect any penalty from them if it was really concerned about their safety. “Instead, the police should provide them shelter in the police stations till the next morning. Otherwise, they should make the transport arrangements for them to reach their homes safely,” Reddy said.

He appealed to the people to vote only for those political parties, which will make transport arrangements for drunks or close down the liquor shops.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 17:34 IST