Masudur Rahman Shyamol, father of a pneumonia stricken newborn, was seen pleading with traffic police officers who held the traffic because of the VIP movement on 6th October 2017. But his pleas fell on deaf ears as the police did not let the ambulance carrying his child go through. The 9 day old child was later reported to be in critical condition with minimal chance of survival.
Stories like these are dime a dozen in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc. where VIP movements, festival and political gatherings clog up the traffic on an almost daily basis. The outcome? Emergency vehicles like Fire Hydrants and Ambulances can‘t reach their destinations in due time and fail to do their duties. In cities where political activities are based, the size of gatherings often forces traffic to take several detours and hospitals become almost inaccessible at that time.
While there are plenty of media reports of cases where patients die in ambulances because it couldn’t reach hospitals in time or infrastructures razed to the ground and lives lost in arson because fire hydrants could not make it in time, most of these stories just remain another story in the book of losses due to human errors and in the memories of those who lost their dear ones.
But OLA, a ride sharing start-up turned corporation, with presence in 102 cities decided to call for reform through their awareness campaign #GiveWayGiveLife.
In the advert, a family carrying critical conditioned kin in an ambulance with paramedic trying his best to stabilize the patient was stuck in a jam because of cultural festivities blocking the road ahead. The son tried pleading with the performers to clear the road but his pleas didn’t do a thing and the patient was declared dead by the paramedic. The advert also takes a jab at the tendency of locals praying for miracle in such cases through the scene that shows how the patient got his heart beat back by the beating of drums. The underlying message was clear: making way for emergency saves lives not miracles (The written message at the end of the advert says zero miracles saved lives in such cases)
This campaign, particularly by a company who has been gathering experiences about south Asian road conditions and dealing with the traditional driver’s mindsets is welcomed by the all the stakeholders because the preacher in this case must also practice what it preaches. OLA has the capability to set an example through their drivers giving way for emergency vehicles and encouraging their surroundings to follow his examples.
OLA has decided to pay heed to the sirens, isn’t it time we do the same?