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Makers of Modern Medicine #2

Sep 24 | 1:30 PM

Here we are with an another fascinating episode of Makers of Modern Medicine where Dr. Subroto Das- Cofounder of Lifeline Foundation and a true changemaker talks about his founding journey. After surviving a life-threatening accident in 1999 on one of India’s busiest highways, he started the 1st ever Highway Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Let's hear about his brave accomplishments.

[Music] good evening everyone welcome to netflix makers of modern medicine part two it's a great pleasure to invite and welcome dr sabra to das whom people fondly call ems man of india sir we are really indeed very grateful to you for accepting our invitation you are such a busy person we know but you are spared valuable time for our young audience and that's a great thing for us thank you very much or and we also welcome our viewers and i'll introduce her in parts because that's how we want to discuss your whole life journey so first and foremost you are one of the third recipient of admiralty that we have invited you have been conferred with padmasri which is one of the highest villain awards for indian and it was conferred to you on 26 january 2017. [Music] sir has been the pioneer in the work of emergency medicine services and he has been that is why given the award for his trauma care he also has been heavily supported by his life partner mr susmita we wanted her also to be on the platform but she politely refused sir has received the prestigious fellowship from the international platforms for the social entrepreneurs that's on the ashoka fellowship as well as the eisenhower fellowship he has been on the chair for the emergency medical services of the south east asia and he is the first person to receive an award for ems services in india sir has been on many various international committees as well as the pioneer committees of the indian health department which decide the policy about the emergency medical services and he has received so many accolades and we also remember fondly and i have the personal watch your show on the kbc where you talked about your services and first i would like to welcome you with our great thanks and also would like to know how do we start our journey because we know that what i have heard that we should celebrate two days in our life one the day we are born and the day we find out why we are born so what was the tipping point or what was the moment of enlightenment that changed the course of your life and the purpose of your life so over to you sir welcome once again thank you for having me on the show sir really honored and privileged yeah you're quite right you know there are there are two points in life uh when you're born and you find the purpose in fact if i add to it to the japanese field there's a third uh big day when they get a driving license it's so tough in japan to get a driving license you know it's it's once in a lifetime you get it india my driving license is easy right uh what made me take up in this journey what was the turning point um i'll need to talk a bit about myself you know i'm the lone child of bengali parents and uh if there are bengalis on this uh viewing this they'll realize bengalis are into academics and uh so as a student that was pretty good in school i entered college in boruto medical college your alma mater too and realized it's going to be fun i wanted to do medicine that's what i thought but somewhere along in the second year or the first to the second clinical terms i started feeling a bit of disillusionment [Music] life wasn't what i thought would be in medicine and then shifted a lot of gears medical college has been fun but then i didn't want to practice medicine so i got into hospital management and that is what i was doing till in august uh 1999 if you're familiar with gujarat so there's a place called vasa which is between ahmedabad and although there are 21 kilometers north of uh ahmedabad and uh another uh alumnus from baroda medical college dr vijay thakura vascular surgeon we had gone to cambae old uh mughal port uh where you know ongc has uh had uh uh found oil explode oil and we've gone for a couple of lectures there coming back it became very late 1 30 at night raining heavily and vijay must have been tired after a long surgery and then talking and other things and it took a wink on the wheel i think and we crashed into a tree on the highway those were times when two lane highways cell phones have just come in if you remember it was 17 minutes and incoming this generation wouldn't know what that is uh but uh mr bhajpay had just started the golden quadrilateral the four lanes yeah and we went into this tree into the gravel and into the tree uh which i got the car out but i think something again hit us from the back as another vehicle was passing by to reps and we negotiated back into the tree came out injured and uh glass on the face and broken uh bones and other things uh that was a very harrowing experience and for four and a half hours we tried to all of the three of us there was another person in my car my assistant who i think had concussion and he was not really doing well but nobody would stop uh absolutely nobody the fear of uh somebody faking an accident at night loot much eggie and all those things right uh finally help came in a very uh odd way a milkman uh you know vasa disney are on the mill capital and here was a milkman carrying uh cans of milk that his cattle had given he was taking it to amul dairy and he's a very brave person he tried to stop vehicles finally could not and i call him brave because he finally put his vehicle across the road i mean that's that's what his bread and butter is if the scans of milk are not delivered to the dairy he loses and yet he put his two-wheeler across the road and the bus had to stop at state transport bus i hopped onto the bus went to the nearest rescue post and tried to convince them there's been an accident very very i mean police constables full of inertia did not want to move but they finally had to and uh they got me into a jeep but got us back to uh this place where the accident happened stopped the next state transport bus and we were transported to baroda 21 kilometers away it took us around four and a half hours to see bharara so uh it shook us up uh time spent in the hospital is when sushmita and that's the turning point perhaps made this remark we were lucky to be alive let's ensure others don't die on the highways right and that got us thinking we started brainstorming with friends how do we you know we travel across the world you see helpline numbers you see everything and how come india doesn't have a helpline number i mean there was so there are help and there were helpline numbers before us in the sense in cities like puna had its first ems in 99. uh delhi was developing cats in 1991. bombay had uh during the congress's central news celebrations 15 ambulances but nothing on highways and you have multiple numbers displayed by hospitals at regular intervals their own numbers so there's no one common number no rescue facilities and sushmita was pretty adamant and we started we didn't know how to go about it and we started talking to friends brainstorming with them and i distinctly remember two friends uh who really um contributed to this brainstorming and i am ahmedabad alumnus mr j.c shukla and another uh medical college alumnus dr vijay shah uh he's a forensic expert and uh we brainstormed and then the idea came up let's network um ambulances let's not have ambulances let's not purchase or don't get ambulances donated because donation receiving a donation is easy question is how do you maintain them how do you operate them so we started networking youtube these ambulances fire services you know they could be belonging to a hospital they could be belonging to a temple they could be belonging to church on the highway anybody you know and start putting up a single number and that's what the plan we came across and uh that's that's how we started the first pilot project between uh andabad and surat 261 kilometers because we live in baroda and baroda is nearly equidistant from both those places we set up a non-profit lifeline foundation and that's how we began our journey if it is not for that accident that brainstorming and sushmita's persistence that's fine we were lucky we need to do something uh the first highway universe in the country would not have come up so somebody has rightly said that dr das is a dreamer and mrs das is an organizer and her insistence made the way for life foundation so your life partners suggested in life foundation and was instrumental we are really lucky to have that couple of such a philanthropic activity you started in fact i can say that your uberization of the medical services that even without owning a you started a service which is definitely going to help and i believe i just read the statistics that almost one lakh people die on the highways and you have contributed to saving lots of them right so that's really great and definitely you need log loud applause had it been an auditorium you would have given your standing ovation or such activities and i feel that we have just been lucky to do some nation-changing work you know right we had no idea how to form our foundation we thought we'll uh having brainstormed on that idea we thought some other foundation would take it up and it did not happen that's where we said fine friends have contributed to it people are dying we lost a couple of friends in the intervene you know we had this accident in 99 and it was in 2002 first of july that we finally put it up so the challenges were huge and i mean so we thought let's let's do it finally so coming back to what you said our varroa days any other nostalgic moments for the medical college baroda and ssu hospital if you visited recently yeah lots of them you know and uh we you wouldn't imagine but as far as we are graying and we are aging so the nostalgia becomes more important we have this coffee club of ours and we try to meet uh on one wednesday every month you know even if it's three people in town that day we meet up and um we have our get-togethers the time we call we are called the 1982 batch it is it has been quite um how would i say we have had our controversial years but it's been fun doing a lot of things for the first time in baroda in fact the superintendent of the college now is uh the hospital now is the classmate dr ranjani here he's making a lot of changes right and lots of memories um and uh i can't take names because a lot of people would uh kill me but it's been fun right in fact we also met after 40 years we did something we did some things that we should not be doing at this age but it was fun right right very true very true and what about your current projects means what are you working on uh see having done the highways uh as a foundation and uh we have a couple of trustees who also are from uh medical college uh i don't know if you know them dr mino patel who's a surgeon yeah yeah orthopedic surgeon they're all on the board and when sushmita and everyone believes in something that as a foundation we should be doing projects but at some point of time we need to sort of convince government that there has to be policy driven changes only then our work is meaningful uh as a nonprofit if you go and doing the same thing again and again without without passing on the ownership without broad-basing it it really won't help you know when the foundation shifts away the entire thing would collapse so whatever we do we are working in the sphere of emergency medicine and ems but whatever we do we are very clear that we will do things that would have a ripple effect and finally government needs to stand up and do it so the next project that we are working on very heavily is industrial emergency medical services having done the highways having inspired a lot of other non-profits to work on this and with mr ramalinga raju of satyam uh history might judge him differently but the 108 is the country owes it to him and having seen it develop having championed it having worked on rfps in different states to put a 108 up we thought we'd work in the industries because industry is a third pillar where accidents happen disasters happen deaths happen you know there are cardiac arrests also happening in industries it's just not uh happening at homes or in offices but in industries and so we are trying to put up industrial emergency medical services that's a big goal 2018 we took it up we did the first national conference we followed up in 2020 on the same day that mr trump visited abdabad and despite the chaos we had a good conference uh so that's what we're trying to do we're trying to better emergency services in industries uh it's it's quite archive in the sense some laws haven't changed since 1948 the factories act and we are trying to convince government to change them to train doctors trained paramedics yeah that's the second thing we are working on i think you are today to have changed the forced government to pass a law in gujarat at least that emergency treatment is a right and nobody should deny that and should get the treatment yes that's a very important thing we did and thanks to to other people you know it's been a collaborative effort uh and you know them i suppose dr harin joshi vascular surgeon who visits from florida six months he spends and uh dr manjul joshipura an authority surgeon and we jointly put up this ems act this was basically based on 2006 law commissions report the 201st law commission's report of justice jagannath rao who for the first time worked on a document to say emergency treatment should be available for the accident victims he drafted an entire law and insisted on the parliament that's what he recommended that parliament should pass a law so we took that advantage and mr modi was there and was quite impressed about this act and what it could do and believe me it was perhaps one of the first i mean one of the fastest acts to have been passed by the government right it's a bit of other story that it really hasn't had the results it's not been enforced the way it should be but yes life is about incremental change so we at least go through this only geopolitical uh area in this entire region to have an act right and i'm trying to talk about the governments i continuously go on doing it so that they can have emergency acts you know you can do all work you want but if you do not have a legal framework to back it right nothing will change because most of the people fear that they will be involved or dragged into the medical legal aspects and that is why they refrain from helping out but as per the law i think there should not be any confusion or any uh hesitation about helping a person who needs the help because i don't think somebody has been incriminated for helping somebody dying yes it hasn't been nobody has been incriminated you know so there was this huge fear and that was perhaps one of the biggest challenge that everyone we didn't have a buy-in not many people joined us even forming a non-profit was difficult because people wouldn't believe in us how can you be in baroda and try to save a life in ahmedabad or the surat or raj court i mean this is a police case so that has been a challenge uh again another great work done by another foundation in delhi save life foundation they fought this to the supreme court and the supreme court gave a guideline to the ministry of health and minister of transport to for the first time have good samaritan guidelines there's good samaritan guidelines to protect every samaritan from the law so currently i think uh your services are available upon india isn't it or it's still in the few states right now no in fact you know as i said uh as a non-profit we firmly believe that our work ends when government institutionalizes it so government has institutionalized 108. it has institutionalized number called 1033 on the highways our work here has stopped but our work still continues on some levels which are so important policymaking you know as we say at the foundation we will not stop till india has an ems law will not stop till ems is a right for every citizen uh will not stop till india has a single number because even today you have multiple numbers you know which doesn't help so yeah let me give you an example you're traveling on a highway a national highway and you see an accident [Music] anyone would dial 108 or 112 the new number that's been promulgated but there's a number one zero three three so what typically happens is and these are maintained by nha national ivy authority of india and there are ambulances we have seen to it that a policy develops where ambulances are parked at every tall plaza and these ambulances are valid so but when a typical accident happens somebody would dial 108 and somebody would die one zero three three so there's a duplication of effort ambulances are coming from the 108 and 1033 so india needs to change that you know that that's a struggle india needs one number i mean let's take us where ems started off you don't have different numbers for highways airports and other things you just have one one nine it's still a single number but in india we have so many numbers so that that's the thing that we need to do you know and we need standards and protocols so that's another thing that we are working on because without standards and protocols nothing works right so and it's a huge country of 130 million people right and you're also working you are also working beyond india i know so which are the other countries where services are expanded so post the tsunami we worked a lot in sri lanka we helped put up their system we write from partnering non-profits and other people right from putting up early warning systems for tsunami to getting their ambulance services started drawing up protocols training their fire services that's what we did in sri lanka and the last time i heard of it is that unlike india where we have struggled to get a brand ambassador sri lanka has roped in again he's the biggest icon sri lanka has and they're trying to get him to you know so we have worked in nepal a lot of work post the earthquake the nepal ambulance service that we partnered to put up five ambulances in the experiment there was a time we worked in bangladesh a lot trying to partner professor muhammad yunus to set up boat ambulances and i also work with the asian association of emergency medical services to put up standardized trauma protocols and uh out of hospital cardiac arrest protocols so we also board member of heart and stroke association of india so what are their current activities so fine the heart and stroke foundation of india is a non-profit that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the american heart association how many heart resistant you would know is one of the biggest non-profits in the health sector in the world uh the people who started bls and cpr for getting it american artisan wanted to start uh something in india and they've been experimenting with a lot of things primarily being addressing something that's not been addressed in india much on reducing under five mortality which strangely is the ministry of corporate affairs uh csr initiative for corporates but not many focus on it so when they invited me to be a board member i was quite thrilled and so there's a three-member board and we're working on it currently even as i'm speaking to you hsfi is the knowledge partner to one of the biggest initiatives and numbers sure numbers being held at chitradu i mean it's a three-day program where the plan is to train three thousand trainers oh so there's a huge tod yeah it's a big number and uh two or three people from hsfi is leading it and uh they're trying to train three thousand trainers to train the public to train the populist entire district of chitradu in first and everywhere in cpr so that's what the heart and stone foundation of india is doing carrying simple things that have not been addressed in india right so it's a new initiative and i'm quite excited about it we also tell our patients about that we fast that is the acronym they have used for the stroke right balance eyes then face right all these things speech disturbances and call the time to call the uh yes so it's really a great thing to know that you are expanding beyond your original dream of highway project and working on the overall comprehensive inclusive health and we also want to contribute so at netflix and at plexus embry that's our parent company would like to get associated with your any association anytime we are into the training also and we also communicate for the any advancement in any of the medical field so please let us know it will be our pleasure sheer pleasure to definitely get associated with such an activity of that for the society at large it is really very very good to know that such things are happening and there are machiha all around and we just need to that is the very idea of making this show that we want to acknowledge felicitate as well as ignite our young minds that see anybody can do things at any time it's a question of that spark that you have probably even sparked today to many of our viewers and they will be definitely come out one day with the results that has never thought of so you travel a past somebody says that when you are walking and you don't find anybody see whether you are on the right track but probably the people who travel like that only show the way for a new path so that's really very very encouraging and we really wish that we would call you again for another milestones that you achieve we would also know that probably you have an term and that's what you want us to play so i'll request one of the members from the team to play the anthem that is probably gives more about what you are and what you are doing so doctor yeah [Music] [Applause] [Applause] and i suppose a couple of films uh yeah popular yeah so how was your experience to meet everybody has a dream to meet big b uh in life once at least and you are there for almost an hour so anything about that day a lot of it sir first of all the program is for one hour but uh you get to be with him for more than two and a half hours because a lot of things happen in recording in other things you know i'm amazed at this gentleman's uh capacity to absorb new things reinvent himself at this age he's still reinventing you know what his son says abhishek bachchan says that my father is always reinventing it's amazing you know and he's so well read at the same filled with humility makes you feel so comfortable and is interested in the smaller things that make up a participant's life you know it's just not about having a show and going away you know it's not about that and uh and the amazing part of being with him on the show was that i don't think the show needs a director he's done it so many times that he can direct it himself so you can again figure out where the light is whether it is you know so at this age what drives him i don't know to do two recordings a day that's what i've been told yeah get there in the morning out at night uh it takes a lot of uh a lot of stamina a lot of curiosity and he reads about every participant and it's just not a supervision really really gets into it uh so a lot of things to learn from him right right one of them obviously is humility even if he's there he's so so yeah you know and the forthcomingness of and the warm that he brings there's so much to learn for it's an amazing experience and i i don't think me my wife and my son and uh a couple of our team members will ever ever forget that right he wanted to be demonstrated on the floor yeah yeah yeah cpr was demonstrated on the stage yeah absolutely absolutely and uh he made it a point that he said that and i hope he's working on it i think he's working on it to yeah popular cpr you know in fact one of the things that i asked him uh off the camera was that get me a brand ambassador for uh ems for cpr because you have a lot of ambassadors for a lot of things you know right but you don't have an ambassador for cpr and emergency medical services and that's you need a brand ambassador to take it forward so i mean have you asked me it's it's some of uh one of those great things that happened to you in my life and i mean i've been lucky that's everybody's dream because he makes you so comfortable and he the way respect he gives to anybody i think that is exemplary and worth putting in life absolutely a pleasure sir we are very very lucky and fortunate to have you on our show and you ignited so many of our young minds i am sure some of them will come one day and make a way for the others and any other future projects that you are working on uh we are working a lot on ayush you know i mean the pandemic taught us that ayush doctors can really commonly uh contribute to it you know we owe it to the emergency physicians that a lot of india is still alive in kicking most of india is alive and kicking so we are trying to mainstream ayush in a big way it's it's important and that that's one of the projects we did a big project for baroda as a smart city uh a gentleman dr vinod rao was the commissioner then yeah and into him and in partnership with omgc and the united way of baroda we started india's first cpr city so we called whatever our smart city or cpr city and the aim was to train forty percent of physically abled uh literate burrodians in first aid and cpr and in in that project we trained the entire world of municipal corporation every staff whether he's right a chief executive of the commission or right in a person who goes down into the drainage system to clean it in hazards that occupational hazards and first aid and cpr and snake bites and insect bites and falls and cuts and wounds and everything and we want to replicate it in other cities so that's one big project that we are working on we are working with students in a big way and teachers because teachers i feel are very important to be trained we are working with a lot of women's group because sushmita and isha deputies here firmly believe that training women on first aid and cpr is far more result oriented than training men because when an accident happens and most accidents happen at home most emergencies happen at home right from kitchen burns to cuts to somebody falling in a washroom or elderly person if you train a woman she carries the training home and they're more conscious about safety and they're more conscious about health than men are so training women is a big thing that we are looking at so these are a lot of projects that you're working on so i what i gather that it's not only the cpr but the first aid itself is also one of your important teaching tool and we know that once the patient is having sustained a cardiac arrest all that we need is a treatment at the site rather than because out of hospital cardiac survival will be very less if they don't receive the cpr on the spot so it's really very very important to have this training to as many people as we can in as short a time as possible sir very very happy to know all these things and i wish that you give us some parting message to our own audience about all that you want us to follow so i gather everyone's into medicine here on this group yes so and there are lots of young people you know so i one of the first things that i would like to say is do what you are doing and enjoy it but there is a life beyond medicine explore it it's very essential the pandemic has taught us how frail we are you know and we need to contribute and we have contributed in a lot of way but there's a responsibility that we can take of creating a general awareness about it that that's very important to understand that as a doctor we need to spread the message of first aid and cpr one of those things that i see in doctors today or in the first aid training which i hope doctors can correct course correction is a lot of firsted trainers would not perhaps be updated to the newer skills just to give an example i come across a lot of first trainers who are still teaching abc and cpr and not cab right so as many professionals there it is you know they're still teaching donnicket tying in a snake bite management protocol which is so hazardous india has changed his white management protocol so as doctors uh it's my request go out in the outside and train people uh kill the myths that go around in first aid and that would be a huge work done beyond the clinics and the hospital you know so the other thing is doctors can obviously this generation especially can do a lot you know debunk a lot of what's up university myths about first aid and life saving what does not go i mean what happens on whatsapp is it's a medical fraternity's responsibility to say this is wrong and each individual doctor can perhaps when he gets the post which is wrong write on it saying this is wrong that's a great contribution i feel debunking the what's up university uh what happens shows in hindi films medicine is i mean i haven't come across any surgeon coming out of operation theater wearing a telescope but that's what a hindi film shows yeah doctors need to fight that you know that's a contribution you can do beyond being a clinician so that that's very important uh train as much as you can rambling stuff your paramedics and life saving skills and do refresher courses india may refresh your courses so that that's important you know it's something like doctors and medical students can contribute in a big way in saving lives and out of hospital care scenarios right so there have been very encouraging comments and so asked people have liked your talk so much and they said it is a pleasure having you on the show and in fact there are suggestions that all you said that we need a unified number as early as possible also that probably these shows are recorded and so many people who have registered but not joined would definitely can see it later also that's a big thing and even that somebody has suggested abc is now cb that we already said super wonderful talk is another suggestions or comments then also very commendable work by ems there's another very encouraging very commendable talk it's a different number that confuses people we are proud and privileged to witness this talk of great gentlemen so they have been so encouraging comments and it was really wonderful to have you with us and it's our pleasure we wish all the best for your all the new features that you encounter and whatever you want us at mediflex netflix will definitely help you out and it will be our pleasure thank you so much and i once again reiterate that we have we have got to have the parting message that we must follow the kovid appropriate behavior and that's our best vaccine against any variant that may come up in the future so let us spread the message of kovid appropriate to of social distancing wearing masks and avoiding the crowding so thank you very much sir good night and good night to our viewers we have been very very cooperative and encouraging and active participations and you have encouraged us to come out with people of immense importance to the society thank you very much

BEING ATTENDED BY

Dr. Darius Justus & 1094 others

SPEAKERS

dr. Subroto Das

Dr. Subroto Das

Physician| Padma Shri Awardee | Co-founder of Lifeline Foundation | Changemaker | Elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2004 | Only Indian to be honored with the Asian EMS Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asia...

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dr. Mahadev Desai

Dr. Mahadev Desai

Senior Consultant Physician | Ahmedabad

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dr. Subroto Das

Dr. Subroto Das

Physician| Padma Shri Awardee | Co-founder of...

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dr. Mahadev Desai

Dr. Mahadev Desai

Senior Consultant Physician | Ahmedabad

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