Virus no deterrent for this 35-yr-old ambulance driver

Bhobal Singh Yadav is well aware of the health hazards that are part of his job. However, the 35-year-old driver of a 108-ambulance says he realises he has a big responsibility to serve society at large. Yadav, who has been driving ambulance since 2017 and hails from Bharatpur, is currently in Jaipur. He is among 6,000 state ambulance drivers who are working round-the-clock. Most of them are away from their families. Yadav has been getting calls from his home to return. Father of two children, his younger one only two months old, his wife has asked him to find another job in his home town. “If everyone sits at home, who is going to deal with the crisis in the nation,” said Yadav. “I have never seen such a situation,” he added. He said, “My parents and wife have asked me to go back to Bharatpur. They have been asking me to find another job somewhere else. I am always in touch with affected people. Though we have been provided with safety kits, risk is always there. But I have asked them not to worry about me. For many years I have been working here and the times of emergency, I just cannot run away.” Everyday, he leaves for work at 8 am and returns home after 9 pm. He gets calls from the control room who intimate drivers to reach the spot as soon as possible. “Right now, we have to transfer coronavirus patients and suspects in our vehicle. We drop them at Charak Bhawan in SMS Hospital. After this, our vehicle is sanitised with disinfectants. The next trip happens only after four hours. There have been times when I have transported 11coronavirus suspects in a day. It is scary to think about the consequences, but still it is my duty,” said Bhobal. Coronavirus is not the only difficulty that Yadav and other ambulance drivers have been facing. Due to long working hours, sometime they don’t get the time to have food on time. There have been days when Bhobal has survived just on biscuits. Sometimes, people do discriminate against him and get scared to come close to them due to his profession. “It feels bad when after all the sacrifices, this is what I get. But there are people who are generous with their compliments. Many people meet me on streets and thank me for my work. I feel proud,” said Bhobal.