Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ambulance Paramedic Services are a Joke

Hello, I need a Ambulance!
Dial 100.
Oh man, 100 is not the number for Ambulance, anyway it does not work from Mobile Phones.
OK, dial Ambulance Number then.
What is the number?
I don't Know.
Look in that yellow book.
OK got it.
Hello, we need a Ambulance, the address is....
Sorry Sir, please call hospital near you, we are located very far.
OK, let me try again.
Hello, we need a Ambulance, the address is...
Ok sir, it is on its way, it will reach you in 45 minutes.
Hello, 45 minutes???
Yes sir, traffic problem, better to bring patient directly in a car.
Ok, thankyou for your advice.

This is not a out of the world conversation. The reason you do not hear about it often is that you are blessed and lucky enough to not having been involved in such a medical emergency.

India's Ambulance and Paramedical Services - are just a lip service. Nothing more. I would even say a cruel joke.

Consider the following:
  • There is no central number to call to in case of emergency. There should be a nodal agency which manages such things - and that was supposed to be the Health Ministry. Huh...Mr Ambumani Ramdoss is interested in Colas, and Yoga bashing. Where are the silly NGOs? Why don't they talk about such important issues.

  • Most emergency numbers would not work from your Mobile Phones. Try them.

  • Ambulances would invariably get struck in traffic - forget about giving way - there is no way!

  • Ambulance should always carry critical equipment and manpower like Oxygen Cylinders, Trained Paramedic staff (or a doctor). But does this happen in India?

  • Ambulances are very often actually used by Hospitals to drop and pick up their staff from their residence (Talk about creativity). High court was forced to comment on this issue.
Ask any medical practitioner, and he will tell you about the Golden Hour. The first hour within which a accident/trauma victim needs attention. But who has time for all this - there are more important matters of alleged Cola Pesticides and removing a AIIMS director to deal with. How wrong have we got our priorities?

This is nothing but utter lack of planning on the part of civic administration, and a direct result of the low value attached to human life in our society.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

National Games - Whats That?

Whats the medal tally at the National Games?
What games?
The National Games
Whats that?

That is the conversation i had with a friend recently. And not surprisingly he had no clue what National Games are. The only reason he could recollect hearing something about them was because ULFA had threatened to joepardize the games.

That sums up the buzz around - National Games.

So, i went ahead and did a small quiz for myself:

  • Who is the fastest man in India (100 m winner)?

  • Who is the fastest woman in India (1oo m winner)?

  • Which state won the highest number of medals in last National Games?

  • Which state is the number one in Athletics?

  • Where were the last National Games held?

  • Which states have the top honours in National Games at presnt?

Well i could answer only one of the questions (one about the number one state in Athletics) - Kerala - that too is only a guess work, and i am not sure if its correct (probably is). Do you guys know these answers - i would like to hear and learn!

Some quick stats:

  • This is the 33rd National Games (in progress in Guawahati).

  • Manipur is at the top of Medals Tally at present (surprise to me !!!).

  • 'Services' participates and competes with states too. (Why? Well... its not obvious to me).

  • There is a website for this:

  • Rongmon (a one horned rhino) is the Mascot for the games. (See the Pic. Courtesy: National Games Website mentioned above. Folks pls make the rhino a little cuter :). )

  • See the Latest Medal Tally Here.

  • 32nd National Games were held in Hyderabad (2002)

  • 31st National Games were held in Ludhiana (2001)

  • 30th National Games were held in ???? (???)

  • 29th National Games were held in Bangalore (1996)

From last few stats you can make out - that apparently the games are not really held at regular intervals. So, who is deciding when to hold them - is it random? some Ministers fancy? a political parties will? What is it really.

OK, enough of statistics, now some observations:

  • It seems Cricket is the only sport played in India. However hard i tried, there was almost ZERO news about the National Games in any media - except ofcourse Doordarshan - which i found was dutifully reporting the progress of Games. Thankyou DD - we appreciate this gesture. Shame on rest of Sensation Hungry Media.

  • Why didn't the govt. (which apparently spends a huge some of money on these sports) popularize these events. If foreign companies can come to India and sell exotic chocolates, juices and what-not -- whats wrong with Sports Ministry - where are your advertisements ? Buzz generation efforts? I don't remember seeing much of it.

  • There are hardly any sponsorers for these games - NOT SURPRISING - given the previous facts.

  • In many many events i watched - i heard the commentator repeat this - This is a good line up, but we do not have the number 1, 2 and 3 player of the country here. (well... i don't blame the sportsment at all).

  • The quality of telecast was pretty bad - at the 400 m athletics event for men, the camera was focussed on the Finish Line for all the last 10 seconds, waiting for the athletes to appear at the finish line. Thats quite poor boss... we want to see the athletes running too!!!

Are we serious about medal hunts at Olympics or is it reduced to a 4-yearly ritual? I read somewhere - Not Planning for success is equivalent to planning for failure.