Kerala’s 108 ambulance service, which should be used for emergencies, seems to have become a source of entertainment for many. From attending prank calls, recharge requests to grocery shopping requests, the hotline has received 5.40 lakh non-emergency calls.
According to the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute, the company that runs Kerala’s 108 ambulance service, out of 9.19 lakh calls received, 5.40 lakh were either prank calls or not-so-important calls. The service receives 3,500 calls per day but only 800 calls request an ambulance. Saravanan Arunachalam, the head of the company, claims that while it occurs in other states too, Kerala has the highest 108 prank calls.
In fact, the rise in hoax calls since the education sector went online is appalling. 93,858 calls were made for booking gas, recharging mobile and dish TV, 431 calls had people abusing the call attendee, especially female employees. The company received around1,69,792 missed calls.
The company can block such unwanted calls. However, they refuse to do so because it is used for emergency purposes. The volatility of the situation prevents them from doing so. Kerala’s 108 ambulance service is for those who require ambulance assistance and it is free of cost. The service has been especially useful since the pandemic and has helped save lives. It’s high time we respect their work and ensure that people who really need help actually get it on time.
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