At a time when information of ambulance drivers refusing to hold Covid-19 sufferers and charging exorbitant charges from households are widespread, a 48-year-old girl e-rickshaw driver in north Bengal has been braving all odds and ferrying such sufferers to hospitals totally free.
Munmun Sarkar, the primary girl e-rickshaw driver of Siliguri in Darjeeling district, who now heads the affiliation of girls e-rickshaw drivers within the city. She is lovingly known as ‘Muniya Didi’ by all.
“Initially once I began ferrying Covid-19 sufferers, even the native councillor requested me to cease whereas neighbours tried to ostracize me and my household. However I used to be decided and my relations supported me all through. They have been able to face the results,” she mentioned.
Sarkar began driving the e-rickshaw, popularly referred to as Toto, nearly six and half years in the past. She additionally delivers meals and different reduction supplies to these in want. Her relations together with her husband Ananda Sarkar, son Subhankar who works within the State Financial institution of India, daughter Suparna Poddar have been a help all through.
“I used to be able to face all penalties to help the work of my spouse even when that meant staying out on the roads,” mentioned Ananda Sarkar, her husband.
A resident of Shaktigarh space, Munmun who couldn’t cross class 12, was at all times into social service and needed to empower girls of us. That’s why she began driving an e-rickshaw and set an instance for different girls. There are actually 118 girls Toto drivers in Siliguri city.
Stating that cash was by no means an attraction for her, she mentioned that when the pandemic began, she stopped ferrying regular passengers and began carrying solely Covid-19 sufferers to hospitals and those that have been launched from hospitals again to their houses.
“Until date I’ve carried just a few hundred Covid-19 sufferers. Thus far just one has died,” she mentioned.
Her work has gained her accolades and he or she has been felicitated by many organistions together with Siliguri Journalists’ Membership.
“Munmun didi has achieved an exemplary work, fearlessly attending Covid-19 sufferers at a time when most others worry to go close to such sufferers,” mentioned Anirban Roy a dental surgeon who’s the primary plasma donor of North Bengal and a nodal particular person of Covid Care Community – a voluntary group.
She at all times places on PPE and the driving force’s seat of her Toto is roofed with a plastic sheet. However Sarkar mentioned that she by no means purchased any PPE.
“I by no means purchased any PPE. Varied organisations reward them to me to supply me help. I simply ensure that I commonly sanitise the car. That cuts deep into my pocket,” she mentioned.