India's lockdown heroes behind the wheel
West Bengal

India's lockdown heroes behind the wheel

Agency News

Kolkata, May 15 : India's fight against Covid-19 and the subsequent nationwide lockdown has dawned unprecedented times for the entire country. While the citizens have been confined to their homes for personal safety, there is a group of people who have been front-lining this battle to ensure safe transportation and mobility of healthcare professionals, government officials as well as citizens who need transportation for medical emergencies, are aided at all times.

One such hero resides in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Anil, an Ola Emergency driver-partner, had pledged to provide free rides to the citizens of Indore so that the passengers can reach the hospital safely, an Ola spokesperson exclusively told UNI here. Anil has been working with the platform for over 3 years now. As an emergency driver partner, he drives his car for more than 12 hours on most days. Not just limiting his role of being a responsible and empathetic driver-partner, he also tends to go beyond his line of duty to help these citizens procure medicines and fulfil other essential needs. “Millions of doctors and nurses who are selflessly devoting their services to fight against this pandemic, in comparison to that my efforts are the least I can do to support them. Inspired by their selflessness, I decided to ferry my passengers for free and to help citizens wherever possible. My family is proud of my contribution and it gives me immense joy to give back to the society in my personal capacity” said Anil Yadav, Ola Emergency driver-partner.

Another heartfelt and moving experience was shared by Lateef, an Ola Emergency driver partner from Hubli who helped a new mother travel 45 kms with her newly delivered baby to their village. When lockdown made basic travel difficult, this brave driver-partner went beyond his designated responsibilities to reunite a family in Shiraguppi, Karnataka. On asking Lateef on what makes him travel that extra mile, he shared that “This is an extremely difficult time for everyone. Few of us have the luxury to stay at home with our family members while others are still attempting to reach their respective homes. I believe this is the time when we need to extend our helping hands and stand by each other in solidarity.”

This is not just a one-off experience, Lateef has been instrumental in helping several patients in and around Hubli and has even travelled to remote villages amidst the lockdown. Similarly, Ayub Mustafa Shaikh and Amin Niyamatullah Khan, driver-partners from Mumbai have ferried over 120 patients to and fro from the hospital. Srinivas, a rider from Vizag shares his experience, “With Covid-19 situation and the lockdown across the country, my family was extremely worried as my wife is pregnant and she needed regular checkups in the hospital. However, with the launch of Ola Emergency in the city, we were relieved. It is the only service available in Vizag for transportation and we have been using it regularly for the hospital trips with my wife. My heartfelt thanks to Ola for providing this emergency service in our city.”

Ola Emergency was launched across 17 cities amidst the national lockdown in partnership with the state government to service non-Covid related medical emergencies without any delay. It connected to over 1000 hospitals across the country. As per sources, the drivers have been trained to follow safety measures and the fleet of cars are sanitized as well as equipped with extra masks and hand gloves to ensure the ride is reliable and safe. Nationwide restrictions have started to ease and the movement of cabs are now being allowed in green and orange zones. Adhering to the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ola has also resumed services in permissible zones.

Ola has been advocating and reiterating its commitment to safety by introducing ‘10 steps to safer ride’ initiative; the initiative records 5 steps each for both passengers and driver-partners to maintain optimum safety standards at all times. ‘10 steps to safer ride’ comprises simple yet impactful steps in the likes of selfie authentication to keep a regular check on driver wearing masks at all times, encouraging cashless payment, maintaining social distancing by allowing only 2 passengers per cabs and equipping driver partners with hygiene kits which contains masks, sanitizers and disinfectants. (UNI)