This Ola driver in Indore provides people free rides to hospitals
It was 15 minutes past midnight. The streets of Indore were empty and desolate because of the stringent stay-home order authorities had imposed. For a 32-year-old teacher though, getting out of her house was a matter of life and death. Her son needed to be rushed to the hospital and her husband was locked out of the city.
A fortunate stroke of serendipity landed her in Anil Yadav’s cab. The 28-year-old driver for Ola knew the area well, having ferried passengers for nearly three years by then.
Anil quickly drove the 11-year-old ailing child and his mother to a nearby hospital, scrambled around to get them medicines, and dropped the two home.
When he reached home at 3 am, he received another call from the teacher saying her son’s condition had deteriorated, and needed to be driven back to the hospital. That day, Anil finished work at 7:30 am.
For the Chhota Bangarda Indore resident, the incident wasn’t the first time he had gone above and beyond the call of duty of helping a stranger. Ever since the coronavirus lockdown in March, Anil has been providing medical transportation to people in need, often free of cost.
One of 10 in a large family, Anil says he empathises with people whose loved ones need urgent medical attention and tries to help them in whatever way he can.
“I realised that with my cab, I had the opportunity to help the people of my hometown. Through our community I let as many people know what I was doing. Nothing gives me more pleasure than serving the Indoris that I have grown up with. Not only do I help people in getting them to hospitals but I also help them by delivering medicines to their doorsteps,” says Anil.
Cab driver Anil Yadav
An exemplar of selfless altruism
For over 45 days now Anil has helped transport food, medicines, and people, and in the process, completed close to 200 rides.
The owner of a farm, Anil even started distributing food and groceries to daily wage workers, migrants, and the impoverished after he realised that many people were left stranded without food, or even water, after the abrupt shutdown.
While Anil has been drawing Rs 30,000 from Ola’s emergency driver-partner fund to make ends meet, the helpful cab rides have been a way for him to give back to society.
“The acknowledgement of the passengers towards my service is the biggest motivation. Ever since the lockdown started there has not been a single ride where the passenger and I haven’t enquired about each other's health,” says Anil.
“It feels extremely satisfying when people appreciate the service I am providing, as they realise that we are also risking our as well as our family’s safety by opting to cater to others’ urgent needs for transportation. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that I continue to cherish,” he adds.
Working beyond personal benefits
Anil works from 9 am to 8 pm every day, after which he sanitises his cab, inside out. Knowing he has been able to serve people truly in need is the only way he says he can sleep soundly at night.
Ola, his employer-company, has lauded Anil’s efforts during the coronavirus crisis too. “While all our driver-partners are receiving widespread adulation for their selfless services, Anil is among those drivers who have gone above and beyond their duties, which further ratifies our decision of making him an Ola Emergency driver-partner,” an Ola spokesperson said.
Stories of many such under-celebrated heroes have emerged over the last couple of months, and the lesson to take away from all of them is that no act of kindness is too small.