In August 1999, Vadodara-based doctor Subroto Das‘s car hit a tree beside a highway in the dead of the night, leaving three persons injured. But help arrived only after a harrowing wait of nearly five hours. The helplessness that he and two of his co-travellers experienced on that day led to an initiative that has changed the way a highway accident victim in Gujarat receives help at the earliest possible time.
“I was the only one who could move after my car crashed. My wife and a friend who was travelling with us were trapped in the car, but no one would stop to help us despite seeing the smashed car and me waving at them to stop. After about five hours, a milkman on a bullock cart stopped. He took us to the hospital,” says Dr Das, 51, the chief executive and managing trustee of Lifeline Foundation.
Then idea of setting up a highway rescue network was born in the hospital while Sushmita Das and Subroto Das lay recuperating after their 1999 accident. They named it as lifeline foundation.
The Lifeline teams are trained to give basic care and ensure that critically injured people are not moved unnecessarily or in a manner that could cause further injury.Lifeline’s records show that its teams reach accident spots in less than 40 minutes.