“If someone tests Covid positive, society treats them like an outsider. How could such people reach hospitals or quarantine centres with limited ambulance services? That’s why I have decided to do service as a chauffeur even during the lockdown to help covid families within my circle.
My name is Krishna Babu and I have been in the driving field for the last 30 years. I’ve always been passionate about driving. I loved to travel long distances during my childhood, and after my schooling, I took up driving as a full-time profession with the guidance of a friend.
Life went on and out of all the pain and sufferings I have endured over the years, I felt Covid-19 was the biggest. To be honest, it was a massive blow for the travel and tourism industry and many of my friends who are in the field have lost their jobs.
When the nationwide lockdown was announced by the government in March last year, I had to be at home for more than a month. Slowly my savings started to shrink and I found myself struggling to make ends meet. I am the sole breadwinner of my family and have five people to provide for at home. The only thing I could do was to get back to work. I know it is a risk but I had no other option left. That’s when I have decided to work as a covid emergency driver for the families of Covid 19 patients by taking them to the hospitals on time. I frequently used to travel to Hyderabad, Nellore and Chennai ferrying the emergency patients to the hospital and to date I have ferried more than 100 covid patients with emergencies. One such case was an SOS call. I was in Ongole at that time and early morning, a retired professor’s husband whose oxygen saturation level fell below 85 had tested Covid-positive and she dialled me. She wanted to try Anandayya Ayurvedic medicine as a last resort. We were supposed to reach Hyderabad as soon as possible from Nellore and I took her within 7 hours, on time.
The current COVID-19 outbreak has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviours against a few people as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. Such behaviour and associated stigma could negatively affect those with the disease.
It’s high time that one should realise we are going through a pandemic situation and if not today, we may still get it tomorrow. The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown restrictions have changed many things, both professionally and personally. Before the lockdown, I was only working to support my family – being a driver was my bread and butter. But now, I feel my responsibility has increased manifold, having served patients and customers during this period. Blessings from them are all I need right now and I look forward to serving many in the future.”