June 20, 2013

Inspiration for the day

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Fr.David Chittammal, ACTS, Thrissur

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“If only the victim had been brought to the hospital a few minutes earlier,” this exasperation at the loss of a loved one in road accident is what prompted Fr.David Chittammal to dream of an organization to provide systematic help to road accident victims.

With the active support of Alkesh Kumar, the then District Collector of Thrissur the first unit of ACTS (Accident Care and Transport Service) was born in 1999.  12 years later, the organization has become an integral part of Thrissur, a free service which any victim of road accident can hope to get.  At 30000 volunteers, the support for the concept can be gauged.

In the beginning, the Father and Collector had to canvas monetary support from the chit funds of Thrissur to buy an ambulance.  This was followed b awareness classes conducted in schools and colleges.  At the end of these preliminary steps they could get the toll-free number 1099 of BSNL.  And then the service was launched for the public.

Of the 30000 volunteers of ACTS, 75 are regular employees.  The service has now expanded to 14 branches with 14 ambulances.  And it is calculated that they have been able to make a positive difference in the case of atleast 50000 road accidents.

The Guardian Angels or volunteers of ACTS are given training on handling accident victims – how to handle unconscious victims, persons with spinal injury etc.

Sajan, a teacher at L.P. School, Puthoor joined ACTS quite late.  But having joined it, he was quite active, be it night or day.  His wife accepted his frequent absence and considered it an ideal form of service to society.  And when one morning, as she was sweeping the front yard and an accident happened nearby, she did not change her dress or wake up Sajan before proceeding to the hospital with the victim.  Sometime later when Sajan came to know from the neighbours about his wife’s service, he too rushed to the hospital.


Courtesy: Nileena Atholy (text), J.Philip (photo), Mathrubhumi, May 12, 2013




"You cannot create experience.  You must undergo it."