Efforts needed to train first respondents in Wari

Namrata Devikar
Tuesday, 31 July 2018


Lakhs of devotees embark on the 250 kilometre journey from Alandi to Pandharpur for the ‘Ashadh Wari’ and one of the greatest challenges is to provide them with emergency services. Emergency providers report challenges and possible preventive measures.

Pune: Officials from the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) said there is considerable increase in awareness in informing authorities about any emergency. This is clear as since 2014, the number of ambulances and the number of patients treated have increased. However, there need to be more efforts in training first respondents during Wari.

Speaking to Sakal Times,  Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, Chief Operating Officer at BVG MEMS said data from 2014 suggests that awareness has increased. “In 2014, MEMS deployed 56 ambulances and served 178 patients. On the spot treatments were only 30,705 which increased to 65,923 in 2017. This shows that awareness has grown over the years and more people avail the facility,” said Dr Shelke.

He added that  Pune district alone this time had 53 ambulances. 

“Moreover, we deployed six ambulances in Satara and 16 ambulances in Solapur area where the Wari was going. We also deployed two mobile control rooms in the Wari to effectively coordinate everything,” added Shelke.

He said if the day-wise patients’ data shows that number of patients at the end of the Wari were more.

“The reason being at Pandharpur there are more people. Also, warkaris who have walked long way now start showing the effect of severe exertion as well as stress. On July 7 when the Wari was in Pune city, there were 35 emergency cases whereas on July 22 when the Wari was in Pandharpur there were 63 medical emergencies. From July 7 to July 22, the number of emergencies has increased day by day,” said Shelke.

Preparing for coming years

Dr Shelke underlined the importance of first respondents in the process of emergency care. He said that in Pandharpur, where the number of emergencies was highest, there were an additional 200 first respondents on the ground.

“This means emergencies identified were more. We are thinking about training Dindi heads for the coming year. As there are 300 dindis in each palkhi and every person walking in the Wari reaches out to dindi heads. This will help us to reach more people in time and identify emergency as early as possible,” said Dr Shelke.

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