Kottayam: It was heart-warming meeting between an ambulance driver taking an accident victim to hospital and the policeman who went beyond his call of duty to arrange a path between jam-packed vehicles on a crowded road.
Afzal, the ambulance driver, was heading to Kottayam Medical College when he was stranded in a traffic block at Pulimoodu junction. Suddenly, Ranjith Kumar Radhakrishnan, a civil police officer on traffic duty at the spot, came to the rescue and made the vehicles in front of the ambulance to move, for the ambulance to pass. He ran along the road for about a km for the purpose.
The valiant policeman’s gesture was captured on video by Ashik, Afzal's brother, who was also present in the ambulance and it is viral on Facebook.
Some days later, Afzal felt that he wanted to meet the noble police officer in person. As the officer had become a social media star, his contact number was available and Afzal called to express his wish. Ranjith responded warmly. “It is I who should be making this request. Ok, I am on duty now; anyway come along,” he said.
Afzal was all excited during the meeting with Ranjith. He also interacted with Ranjith’s colleagues and superiors. Among the touching reactions Afzal received was from the Sub Inspector. Afzal told Manorama News that the SI thanked him profusely for uploading the video on Facebook. “The video of Ranjith performing his duty on the crowded road appeared on Facebook at a time when everyone was blaming the police for the situation in the state. But the video gave a tremendous boost to the confidence of every police personnel. That feeling is indescribable,” said the SI.
Afzal told Ranjith that he had not noticed the police officer’s face during that incident. “Later, when we read about you, we wanted to meet you,” he said.
They spoke warmly for some time and clicked selfies before leaving.
“We did not take too much of his time as we know how busy a policeman on traffic duty is. When we returned to the ambulance, Ranjith’s face remained in my mind. I felt that the goodness he spread by showing sincerity to his job as well as to save the life of the patient in the ambulance would remain with me during every trip from now on,” says Afzal.
Ranjith’s viral act
The day had started as usual for Afzal. A driver with a private ambulance service, he was asked to take a couple who suffered head injuries in a road accident from Sanjeevani Hospital to the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
During every trip to hospital with a patient, he has to face sad relatives. But Afzal does not show any emotion or speaks to them and concentrates on driving the ambulance as soon as possible to the destination.
On the fateful day, the couple was riding a scooter with their grandson when a car hit them at Cheruvalloor. The grandson Aaron died on the spot. Both the grandfather and grandmother suffered head injuries.
The first ambulance took the grandfather to the Medical College Hospital while the grandmother was shifted in Afzal’s vehicle. An ICU ambulance, emergency medical technician Shyam was also on duty in the vehicle. Accompanying the patient were two women and a priest.
As the condition of the patient was very critical, Afzal made every effort to reach the hospital fast. However, at Pulimood Junction, the ambulance could not move even an inch. The horn was sounded continuously, but no vehicle in front of the ambulance gave way.
It was then that the sincere policeman on traffic duty rushed to the spot. He knocked on the sides of the vehicles in front and asked them to move. For about a km, Ranjith ran along the road, arranging a zigzag path for Afzal’s ambulance to clear the traffic jam.
Afzal’s brother Ashik, who was beside him, shot the video as such an act from a policeman was a unique experience. “Several times, the persons accompanying the patient have had to get down from the ambulance and clear a path for the vehicle during a traffic block,” explains Afzal.
“We wanted everyone to know about the sincerity of the traffic cop. His efforts helped us to reach the hospital without delay. Now we learn that the patient is stable,” he says.
Ranjith has won the hearts and minds of Keralites after the video of the incident went viral on social media. He has been awarded a good service entry by the Police Department. Along with it, Ranjith has been offered a role in a movie.