CHENNAI: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami launched a fleet of 108 ambulances and appointed the first woman pilot in the country, on Monday. The fleet of 90 ambulances are fitted with advanced equipment and cost Rs 20.65 crore. Out of these, 10 vehicles are for blood banks in government hospitals and cost Rs 3.9 crore. Besides, 18 emergency ambulances costing Rs 1.26 crore were donated by Zee Entertainment Enterprise Limited.
Meanwhile, the first woman ambulance pilot M Veeralaxmi said she chose this field as she wanted to serve the people. “There are many jobs where you can earn money. But I thought my job should be service oriented. So I chose this.”
Veeralaxmi who will be working in Chennai has three years of experience as a taxi driver. Though her husband was very supportive in the beginning, now he is a bit hesitant during the pandemic, she says.
“Since safety gears will be provided I don’t think I need be afraid of getting infected. I know I should be careful. I am happy and proud as I have entered this field. Now I have to rush through golden hours,” said Veeralaxmi.
“My mother used to tell me whatever we do we should excel in it and nothing is impossible in life,” says Veeralaxmi, who has completed Diploma in Automobile Technology.
The Chief Minister also gave appointment orders to seven of 138 junior assistants who were recruited through the Medical Recruitment Board for posting in the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. According to a press release, so far 1,005 ambulances are being operated in Tamil Nadu and over 1.20 crore people have benefitted by the service. The 108 service also provides pick up and drop service for Covid patients.