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Friday, November 13, 2015

the great act of ambulance driver and Panchayat President in saving life at Cuddalore

There have been claims and counter-claims and one tends to read that version, depending on the party they support ! …. Away, the ambulance drivers of 108 are called Pilots and they deserve more respect for the great service they are doing. !

In 2011, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Thane  came down heavily. Thane initially developed as a tropical disturbance within themonsoon trough to the west of Indonesia. Over the next couple of days the disturbance gradually developed further while moving towards the northwest, and was declared a Depression during December 25, before being declared Cyclonic Storm Thane during the next day. As it was named, Thane started to turn towards the west under the influence of a subtropical ridge of high pressure -  Thane made landfall early on December 30, on the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore andPuducherry and rapidly weakened into a depression.
Heavy downpour and strong winds on Deepavali eve this year,  triggered by a depression off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts reminded the residents of Cuddalore district of the havoc wrought by cyclone Thane in 2011. Thane ripped apart Cuddalore and Villupuram districts and Union territory of Puducherry, killing more than 40 people and destroying property worth several crores of rupees.   The residents could  heave a sigh of relief as the deep depression weakened and moved toward south of Cuddalore town. The damage this time was less but that's only a temporary consolation since the monsoon isn't over yet.  Cuddalore district, in the tail-end of Cauvery delta region, which drains six major rivers Thenpennaiyar, Gedilam, Vellar, Kollidam, Manimutharu and Paravanar into the sea, has been periodically marooned by frequent flooding.  Today’s statistics in Indian Express moves one – 27 people died; 4800+ houses damaged; 20154 hectare of land growing agricultural crops damaged;  90000 acres of paddy crop submerged in flood ~ traffic stopped due to floods – and relief work is on !
As stated earlier, debate on relief work [on fast pace Vs State not prepared to meet] will rage on – here is something one we must read and make more people know about – courtesy Indian Express.  I had earlier posted on ‘108 Ambulance Service’ – this is in appreciation of their services.
Chidambaram :  The deluge that brought down the entire Cuddalore district to its knees on Monday and Tuesday bore witness to the spirit of selflessness that makes us humans. An ambulance driver and a group of persons put their lives on the line and braved flooded roads and unforgiving rains to help a pregnant woman reach hospital to deliver her baby.It was when the fury of the downpour was at its peak that P Venkatesan, an ambulance driver at the Government Chidambaram hospital, received an alert from the 108 control room about a 21-year-old woman from Killai undergoing labour pain. Unmindful of the trees that kept falling on the roads under the force of wind, Venkatesan skilfully maneuvered the vehicle for 10 km to reach the Primary Health Centre, where Selvakumari was crying out in pain. The battering had assumed menacing proportions by then.
Putting duty before self, Venkatesan helped Selvakumari along with her husband, Kavinkanth, on to the ambulance and started on a journey that was to test his mettle both as a driver and a human being. A few kilometres on their way to the Chidambaram hospital, Venkatesan realised that the going was getting tougher than expected. With the rain pounding, visibility had dipped to a few metres. Even as Selvakumari kept crying out in pain, Venkatesan decided to take an alternative route. However, he soon found out that the condition on the new stretch was worse than assumed. He decided to return to Killai, but by then the roads were inundated and fallen trees were blocking his way. Returning was no longer an option.
Speaking to Express, Venkatesan said, “I was at a loss on what to do. The patient’s cries were getting louder. In that moment of despair, I decided to call up S Ravindran, former town panchayat president of Killai. He assured that he would reach us with help. I waited for what seemed like ages until I saw a jeep nervously approaching us. Ravindran had kept his word. He risked his and two of his friends’ — Veerasamy and Paridoss — lives to help strangers in distress. Ravindran asked me follow his jeep.” With the jeep leading the way, they soon reached the Killai railway station  - the woman was admitted into hospital and safely delivered a baby.

Not many would remember to appreciate the efforts of the Ambulance driver Sri Venkatesan as also the largehearted S Ravindran and his friends Veerasamy and Paridoss – every ordinary mortal would have chosen to remain at home on such a rainy day and speak on everything – whilst these men chose to perform. Great people indeed.

The least we must vow to do:
·         Never drive in front of an ambulance
·         Once you hear the wailing siren, pull to your left – allow a free path;
·         Make a dead stop – allow the ambulance to pass by on the right side of the road
·         If in a signal –- and ambulance is on the other side;  wait for the ambulance to pass by – irrespective of whether you have an amber or green
·         Never ever try to follow the ambulance
·         All of us can wait – nothing in life is so important – than allowing the life saver to reach the destination at its earliest.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th Nov. 2015.

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