Kerala’s Panchayat member turns ambulance driver to help women patients

The ambulance she drives was donated to the Indian Union Muslim League local committee for COVID related requirements, by Bafaqui Thangal Charitable Trust

The first time she sat on the driving seat of an ambulance, Fathima Jaslin was too excited. “The siren and the power of the ambulance was too overwhelming. It took me some time to get over that excitement”, she said.

This member of Kunnamangalam Grama Panchayat became an ambulance driver by accident. But then she discovered her advantage and has been on call for needy women for a few weeks now.

A newly elected ward member, Ms. Jaslin has been active in the COVID management activities in her ward including food distribution, fogging and distributing pulse oximeters to the patients ever since the second wave started. As a former Kudumbasree ADS Chairperson, she is quite familiar with most families in the ward and hence her victory in the last local body polls.

“I got a call from some women I knew, who said they had COVID symptoms, but could not find any vehicles to go for the check up. I tried to get an ambulance for them, but there was a scarcity of drivers. Hence, I took it upon myself to drive them to and fro the check up”, Jaslin said.

Until then, she had driven only cars and driving an ambulance was overwhelming at first, she confessed. “It was the need of the hour. Otherwise I would not have done it”, she added.

Later, Ms. Jaslin realised that there was much scope for a woman ambulance driver, with reports of female patients abused in ambulances coming up every now and then. “The women would feel comfortable and safe when I am the driver. And I decided to help them as much as possible”, she said, adding that her services will be limited to women.

However, Mr. Jaslin has not kept a track of how many women she has helped so far. “I never thought it was a big deal until one of the videos went viral”, she said.

The ambulance she drives was donated to the Indian Union Muslim League local committee for COVID related requirements, by Bafaqui Thangal Charitable Trust.

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