Tuesday, December 6

City of angels: Woman turns app cab into ambulance for Cov patients

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App-cab driver Shampa Nandy has converted her car into a cab-ambulance to ferry Covid patients from home to hospital and back despite initial opposition from a section of her family. However, they are all very proud of her courage and resolve.
Shampa is now a familiar face at hospitals across the city. Be it the sweltering summer heat or when it pours during Monsoon, Shampa is on duty from 10 am to midnight. In the past several months, she has ferried counltess patients to different hospitals. Or transported those who have recovered to their homes. “On hearing stories about ambulances extorting money from the hapless families of Covid patients, I decided to help them by ferrying patients in my cab. I joined Kolkata Ola, Uber, App-Cab Operators’ and Drivers’ Union which offers similar services. My male colleagues offered support when they learnt that I will ferry Covid patients,” said 36-year-old Shampa, who lives in Bijoygarh.
Initially, she did not have PPE kits. “I used to get very scared as I slept with my 13-year-old daughter. We don’t have separate rooms. But now I have a set of PPE kits. I know, if you don’t lower your guards, you are unlikely to be afflicted by the disease. I find Covid patients mortally scared. I chat with them as I drive, tell them how many patients I have brought back home. Those who could not return are negligible in number,” said Nandy.

Nandy learnt driving only in 2019 and got her cab dueing the pandemic last year. “My sister Rakhi Basu Roy is a pillar of strength in my life. She insisted that I stand on my own feet, to rear my daughter on my own. On her insistence, I booked the car. But its delivery was inordinately delayed. I got the cab last June,” said Shampa, who has been separated from her husband, but stays with her mother-in-law.

But when she decided to ferry Covid patients, the opposition came from her sister and mother-in-law. “I understood their concern for me . But I was resolute to do it. As I kept ferrying patients with complete health safety measures, now they feel proud of me. I also feel life is worth living,” said Shampa.

Source: Times of India

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