The rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country have increased the pressure on healthcare service providers. Getting an ambulance for a medical emergency, especially in places like Mumbai with a huge number of coronavirus cases, have become difficult.
Hence, taking cognisance of this problem, a police constable posted at Cuffe Parade police station decided to help sick people amid lockdown. The 34-year-old cop, Tejas Sonawane, repurposed his friend’s Omni van into an ambulance in order to ferry patients to the hospitals free of cost, reported The Indian Express.
Unable to afford a PPE kit, Tejas can be seen wearing a transparent raincoat, gloves and a face shield while driving people to a hospital. The cop who originally hails from Nandurbar started the free ambulance service last week and till now has helped six patients, including a senior citizen and a pregnant woman.
Constable Tejas sonawane of Cuff parade police station purchased omni van and transferred into ambulance to serve the Corona patient Salute to him
Posted by Madhukar Kad on Sunday, May 31, 2020
Tejas was moved when he saw two senior citizens trying to seek help from the vehicles passing by. Watching them fail to find an ambulance, he decided to come up with this noble idea.
“Ten days ago, a man was sitting on the road when we happened to pass him. He was a resident of the chawl right in front of the police station. He told us that he has been dialling the control room and waiting for an ambulance for a long time. We dialled a few numbers and helped him reach the hospital,” he added. The next day, he saw a woman sitting on the road waiting for an ambulance.
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“It was then that I decided to do something. I asked a friend to give me his Omni van. I created a partition between the driver’s seat and the back seat and started transporting people.”
People soon started acknowledging his work and have been contacting him on his mobile number. “As I had circulated my number among the residents of Cuffe Parade, until now, only people from areas that fall under the jurisdiction of the police station have contacted me and I wish to help more people.”
Tejas who came to Mumbai in 2007 lives with his wife and two daughters. He says that he’s not scared of catching the infection. “I have sent my daughters to their native place where they are being taken care of by our relatives,” he said. Taking special precautions, he sanitises the van before and after transporting patients to the hospitals.
He adds that his colleagues at the police station have been very supportive of him. “I get calls seeking ambulance when I am on police duty, but my superiors have never stopped me from going. I park the van near the police station and as soon as I get a call from any patient’s relative, I rush to the spot,” he said.
While his intentions are praiseworthy, we hope he takes extra precautions at such crucial times. We don’t want to lose another braveheart cop to the virus. Take care, sir.