Mrunal Manmay Dash

As Òdisha dipped in the hues of Holi, people in emergency services observed it in a rather subdued manner.

Be it the healthcare personnel or ambulance drivers; the nature of their jobs is such that they cannot afford to play Holi when almost everyone is celebrating.

While healthcare personnel celebrate Holi by smearing a little colour on their colleagues at work, the ambulance drivers do not even get that lucky.

“We want to go outside and play Holi too, but the nature of our duty does not permit us,” said Sulochana, a senior nurse at Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar.

“We are happy wishing and smearing a little colour on our colleagues. In fact, it gives us great pleasure to work on Holi. This is our job and we can’t take this lightly,” she said.

A 108 Ambulance driver, Niranjan Samantray said, “We do not have any option. We just can’t play Holi during duty hours. Being in emergency services, we can’t delay attending patients and taking them to hospital.”

“I have been doing my duty since morning. Our job becomes more demanding during festivals like Holi and Diwali when accidents and mishaps are common. Though the mishaps have declined over the years, we still can’t get complacent,” said another driver, Rakesh Kumar Sahoo.

“Some other ambulance drivers smeared a little colour on my head in the morning. That’s all the Holi I played this year,” Sahoo added.