Not All Netas Give Papad Cures: TMC Leader Dons PPE Suit & Drives Man to Hospital on a Bike

Social Commentary

Not All Netas Give Papad Cures: TMC Leader Dons PPE Suit & Drives Man to Hospital on a Bike

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

This week, a man from a West Bengal village was left with nowhere to go after he developed symptoms of Covid-19. His family was unable to contact an ambulance, and neighbours were reluctant to help out in case they contracted the disease.

A few hours later, a TMC leader came to the rescue. When he was informed about the man’s plight by his colleagues, Satyakam Patnaik, a member of the party’s youth wing, didn’t hesitate before jumping on a bike and taking the man to the hospital himself.

A video of Patnaik riding to the hospital in a brand new PPE suit, with a man seated behind him in a red mask, was shared widely on Twitter. The man was later identified as 43-year-old Amal Barik, a migrant worker, who had recently returned to Sijua village.

Patnaik didn’t just drop the man off at the hospital, however. According to a report, the TMC leader stayed until Barik had met a doctor, and had his swab samples collected. He then dropped Barik back to his home, a few kilometres away.

“I was only thinking that how can we let a person suffer like this. I asked two-three party workers to arrange a bike and rushed to a pharmacy and bought the PPE,” Patnaik was quoted as saying. “I want to stand with the people amid this pandemic. I have ordered four more personal protective equipment, in case I need it again.”

Praise poured in for the TMC leader on social media soon after the video was posted.

Some, meanwhile, asked why the ambulance refused the patient in the first place, a situation that’s becoming all too common even five months into the pandemic.

In the last few weeks alone, there have been several reports of ambulances turning away suspected Covid-19 patients. In Madhya Pradesh an elderly man had to drive himself to the hospital after a 24-hour wait for an ambulance, and in Maharashtra’s Dombivali, a man had to walk two kilometers to the hospital with a high fever.

But Patnaik’s act this week has ensured that he will join the illustrious list of Corona Warriors, who have gone above and beyond to help out during this pandemic.