Kolkata, March 6: A Kolkata based ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life is news for right reason. Bipin Ganatra, 59-year-old man who is not a professional fireman but he is always ready to fight lethal battle everyday in the city of Kolkata where he has saved many lives through his courageous effort.
Ganatra a school drop-out who has done odd jobs all his life has till date attended more than 100 fires in the densely populated city of Kolkata. From rescuing people from fire and cleaning up debris Ganantra now is left with only one interest that is saving lives of unknown people.
The man who chases fire has received several awards, certificates from state government and is now recognised by BBC as an unsung Indian.
A hard working man Ganatra often sleeps well in night and keep calling fire brigade headquarters every hour for update of the city. He watches television regularly for any breaking news and as soon as he comes across one he get into a taxi and reaches the fire site. Read Also: (Meet this Pune Doctor who doesn’t charge money if a girl is born)
Report suggest that Kolkata is a city where some 2000 fires took place in 2014. In 2014 alone around 347 people died and more than 1,749 were injured. Kolkata’s firemen are the most overworked employees in the city.
The maximum number of fire calls attended by Gantara is three in a day. Fire chief’s in the city know him as a ‘Brave man’ who has no-formal knowledge about fire-fighting but uses the equipment like a professional fire brigade officer.
Five years ago Gantara had almost lost his life when he entered a burning warehouse in Kolkata’s Strand Road. He entered the warehouse and hauled out two 15 kg cylinders that could have caused great damage.
A hospital fire of Kolkata which took place in 2011 and claimed lives of 89 patients was traumatic for the whole country.
Gantara took charge of his position and entered into the hospital building through a smoke-filled stairwell choking and vomiting he saved one life of a patient lying at the Intensive Care Unit.
He can be seen at fire spot wearing a 21-year-old khaki uniform gifted by a fire official. For his tireless Gantara gets a little help of Rws 2,500 from his friend every month but still it is a thankless job for everyone in Kolkata.
(Photo courtesy: BBC)