Imagine being shunned, scolded, told off, treated with disrespect for doing a good deed. Well,
Ask Ajay Roshan (not his real name). When this 37-year-old decided to volunteer to help the city tide over this health crisis, little did he know that a barrage of criticism was going to come his way.
“I volunteered to help with the burial and
During the lockdown, he had to shut his studio, but started volunteering for distribution of relief material like food and rations to the poor and needy, and later got into the ambulance driving service to transport covid patients and help people with cremation and burial of the deceased.
However, his work was not appreciated by all. “The moment we get down from the ambulance in our PPE kits, either near a crematorium or a hospital, people quickly move away from us, thinking that we are the carriers of Covid-19,” Ajay said.
He recalls the time when a motorist showed eccentric behaviour as he accidentally touched his helmet. “The motorist removed his helmet, abandoned it on the footpath and rode away,” Ajay said.
We have been denied fuel for our ambulances from petrol bunks. The staff at the bunk asks us if it is a covid ambulance and tell us to go elsewhere
–Saqib Idrees, Bengaluru for Migrants
After a month of covid duty, he started suffering from
He even took the RT-PCR test, which too came out negative after a couple of days. Doctors told him that he had caught the flu as he was wearing PPE kit for long hours and was sweating inside profusely.
Ajay told all his friends that he will be back to driving ambulances soon after he gets discharged from the hospital.
‘People avoid me’
Another ambulance driver,
“On one hand, the family members of a covid patient or a deceased person see us with great respect and value our services. However, there are people who are scared of us,” says Saqib.
“We have been denied fuel for our ambulance vehicles from
It’s time we bring our humanitarian side out to welcome these covid warriors with respect.