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Need To Know: Emergency Medical Response while traveling in India

Chaos, accusations, fights, and extremely poor communication plague any and all conversations about Emergency Response and Medical services. The government as well as the public are responsible for the detrimental state of these crucial services. 

Truth be told, in-depth discussions, implications, and implementations regarding this topic can run lengthy and similar to most cabinet meetings. A lot of energy is exerted but work done is null. I have had a range of experiences during my travels across 19 of the 29 states. As most of you would agree, making a common “Pros and Cons” list is futile; hence I will just share the real-life situations I faced. At the end of the day, all that matters is how YOU perceive and process what you learn.

(*Disclaimer: Some might feel a sense of hostility from me while reading this blog but I promise I hold no grudges and make no assumptions about anyone. I have the utmost respect for all and have no intentions of dishonor.)

Competency levels scrape through but arrogance and greed have no limit.


In January of 2017, I walked into a police station expecting that my issue would be solved without any intrusions and difficulties. But, just thinking so jinxed the entire procedure.

I had been robbed during which the perp took off with my passport. Applying for a new passport in case of theft or loss requires a First Information Report  (F.I.R) filed at the nearest police station. I explained the entire incident to 3 officers as well as the Sr. Police Inspector in 2 languages. No one showed the slightest interest or sense of duty as I sat there freaking out, until a clerk approached me and spoke in broken Hindi. He translated my incident report for the officer, who then wrote it down in Kannada! After an exhausting visit to the session’s court notary public, I experienced a rather prolific display of utter incompetence, ignorance, and idiocy.

I won’t be surprised if you don’t believe me when I say, I was the one sitting in the officer’s chair translating and spell-checking the report on his computer on the official police database. After spending a nerve-wracking 6 hours inside that hell hole, I was once again stunned by the menacing audacity of the officer, who demanded a bribe of INR 2000! I reluctantly paid INR 400 as a bribe in order to properly file the F.I.R and qualify for the reapplication of passport.

Medical response and services are quite admirable, barring a few kinks.


Emergency medical response helplines, although being more privatized have acceptable speed and professionalism. The national emergency helpline in India has a long way to become dependable like the “911” in USA. When I got bumped off the road by a container truck while riding my bike, I was appreciative of the EMTs. Even though the accident spot was in a town that didn’t have a hospital, the bystanders wasted no time to call an ambulance. It arrived sooner than anyone expected. I was taken to an extremely unprofessional medical facility where the doctors were so reluctant, they didn’t even clean my wounds. I was transported 150 km to a government hospital in the nearest city for proper treatment of my injuries. In the 10 months since my accident, I have met with 5 different doctors in 3 cities and undergone 6 procedures. All I can say is: all the aforementioned services are improving and I really don’t have anything worth complaining or bickering. Patience, appreciation, and encouragement from the people utilizing these services bolster the developments.

During my travels across the country, I have faced-off many such situations which has given me a proper perspective. We as a nation openly accept that we are a developing entity and there are multiple areas of improvement. But, if we do not take a moment to introspect and accept the current situation; good or bad, it will be demoralizing. Development and criticism are 2 sides of the same coin, favouring one to the other is redundant.


*Here are the various emergency numbers of India:















What are your thoughts about the emergency response and medical services of India?


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