Thiruvananthapuram

Spare a thought for life savers

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Hardly a day passes without us seeing them on the roads, almost risking their lives to save many others, but the struggles of ambulance drivers rarely receive any attention. They are often in too much of a hurry to raise their issues and call for attention. Baburaj Asariya’s short documentary Unsung Heroes, which has already fetched him a bunch of awards at various festivals, is an attempt at bringing their struggles on screen.

“I began working on this idea two-three years back. I had in mind a short film based on an ambulance driver’s life. As part of research, I spoke to around 100 ambulance drivers. Many of the experiences of drivers in various cities were similar in nature. I thought the format of a documentary would be better suited to address the various issues that they face,” says Baburaj, who works at a Technopark-based firm.

The documentary chronicles the lives of 10 ambulance drivers, bringing to the fore their daily struggles and challenges.

“Most of the drivers are attached to private ambulance companies. For the kind of risk that they take on a daily basis, they hardly have any protection or welfare benefits. If something happens to them, they are left to fend for themselves. They spend much of their lives inside the ambulance. Many of them work on a commission basis, which is a way for private companies to make money. At the time I was shooting the documentary, the ambulance drivers did not have a proper union too to raise their issues,” he says.

Awareness

The documentary also tries to create more awareness of how those riding vehicles on the road should co-operate when they hear an ambulance approaching from behind.

“A majority of the people are aware of what they are supposed to do, but a small section of the population still do not move their vehicles to the side when an ambulance approaches. Often, it involves a matter of life and death. It is important that more awareness is created on this issue,” he says.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 4:13:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/spare-a-thought-for-life-savers/article24257046.ece

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