Skip to main content

Bipin Ganatra

Bipin Ganatra

Hidden in the corners of central Kolkata, a brave and fearless man resides. Winner of the Padmashree amongst various other awards, Bipin Ganatra is a gem of a human being. Residing in a one bedroom flat, small enough for one person only, he has no complaints and his face is always one of happy.

Q:  How long have you been at this selfless task?
Ans: It has been forty years.

Q: What motivated you to be the hero you are today?
Ans: My mother was a social service worker back in my childhood. Soon after, my elder brother met with an accident – burn case - that changed my life. Ever since I was inclined to help people in crisis such as this. I would run behind fire brigades if I would see one on the road. Although, I was not very successful I soon developed a habit out of it. Now, I depend on the news on television and radio. Immediately, I make a call to the control room and find out the location and reach the spot.

Q: How do you keep up with the occurings?
Ans: I watch the news at night, regularly.

Q: How do you reach these locations?
Ans: I use public transport, taxis, buses, whatever at my disposal. Sometimes my friends in the area help me out by lending me some money which I make sure to return the next day.

Q: How do you make a living?
Ans: I am an electrician by profession.

Q: How did you feel when you received the award?
Ans: See, my work and the award are both completely different things. I give more importance to my work than the award because the award does not hold as much value as the work I do. Nowadays, people give a lot of importance to awards which hampers my work. Everyone comes to invite me to events and ceremonies which would not happen before and I could concentrate in my work. I was to be free of all this because it is all a waste of time. I can utilise the time in other social activities.

Q: What about your family?
Ans: My parents are dead; I have two sisters who live in different areas in Kolkata, married. I had undergone a bypass surgery in 1994 for which I did not marry. My work is risky, life threatening. I shouldn’t put someone else’s life at risk with mine. This is why I never got married.

Q: Could you please name some of the disasters you helped in?
Ans: Stephen Court fire is one such disaster where I was one of the first few people to arrive. I watched people jump off buildings in spite of me repeatedly telling them to hold on. I was also at AMRI.

Q: How does the police and fire department allow you to be present?
Ans: Previously, they would not allow me. But my body language and work convinced the fire fighters that I was capable of doing the work of ten people at the situation.

Q: Why have you never considered joining a fire station?
Ans: It is too restrictive. Firstly, I would not have as much liberty as I do now because each fire station has a specific region they are in charge of. In case there is a fire elsewhere, I can’t be of much help. Secondly, they would not send me alone. I would be bound by rules of the department and safety concerns. Thirdly, if I did wear the uniform I would most likely be arrested in under twelve hours because I would venture into places I am not allowed to. So if I can’t help what is the point? I like it this way. I am free and I do my work. When I am needed, my friends call me and I have the liberty to rush and help. For instance, The Telegraph anointed me very well because of my contribution in rescuing survivors when the Vivekananda flyover collapsed.

Q: Tell us about your education
Ans: I am from Gujarat and I have completed school under The Gujarat Board. I was born in Kolkata. My parents had rented this house and this is where I have lived all my life. A fire station director, IPS officer D. P. Biswas presented me a uniform for my work at the fire in Central Telephone Exchange. He awarded me and another officer uniforms each for bringing such pride to his department.

Sixty year old Bipin Ganatra is a gem to our nation. Irrespective of the fame and popularity received by him, his is one of most humble people ever. A salute to this man for his bravery and his work.

 -Madhumita Ghosh


Popular posts from this blog

What Daniel Fernandes's Shadows Is All About

Shadows: A Revelatory Special

I walked into Terna Auditorium on Sunday Night expecting a special set by a comedian I had seen perform live on a previous occasion and had seen videos of on YouTube. Daniel Fernandes went above and beyond that. At the outset he cautions the audience, that his self admittedly social commentary centred style of humour that has gained an instant association with him would not be a feature tonight.
His piece is a reflective one, touching upon self-doubt, his journey of self-discovery, his moment of truth and his foray into comedy. He discusses at length the various paradigms and notions of success that pervade society without sounding preachy. And how while non-conformity can be a lonely place, it isn’t the worst.
Fernandes’ takes on the mantle of a voice in our head and says everything that naturally occurs to us but social conditioning prevents us from expressing vocally.   Through an anecdotal and a canonical sense of humour, he narrates his evolving len…

Paanchphoron 4

Paanchphoron 4Organised by : Urotaar UROTAAR, are a socio-cultural organization, working on socio-cultural upliftment, awareness & motivational activities through Street Theatre, Short film, Workshops, Exhibitions, Cultural Events etc in various Locations of India.
Till date we have achieved More Than, 360 Street Theatre Performances across India 2 Short Films 21 Cultural Events comprising various Art Forms 8 Exhibitions of Paintings & Sketches Motivational Theatre Workshops for many Organizations Art & Culture related promotions
Besides all, for the last 3 years (2014-2016) & this year our Annual Live Art Festival 'PAANCH PHORON' has been one of its kind. It’s a combined presentation of Street Theatre, Folk Dance, Folk Music, Live Sketching & Live Handicraft Making from different parts of West Bengal. It is one such festival which promotes the talents of our State, highlighting the Making of various Visual Arts, and till date we have never disappointed our audienc…
"We create New Music because Uniqueness lay within us” The Radical Array Project Gets Close and Candid About Their Work

The Radical Array Project popularly known as T. R. A. P. which turned 3 years this August had a rambling conversation with us wherein they confided several of their experiences. This band set in the suburbs of Kolkata aspires to enthuse among its audience a spirit of new music with variation in taste and quality which is heartily appreciated by their fan followers.
Beginning with the introduction of the five member band consisting of Suanjito Dutta (the drummer), Swapnabho Roy aka Papai (the bass guitarist), followed by Ronnie Chatterjee (the guitarist, production manager) , Bhaswar Sen ( the Violinist) and Anupam Pyne ( the key board player) began the conversation.
When asked what was their inspiration to start the band, replied Bhaswar Sen, "the inspiration was to do something unique, apart from doing covers of famous bollywood and western music, the agend…