Bipin Ganatra largely feels Kolkata as his home and its people as his family. At present, he is a lean and sinewy, 59-year-old man. He isn’t a professional fireman but has successfully chased fires for over 40 years all over Kolkata. In the last four decades, he has wholeheartedly attended risking his life to more than 100 fires. He indulges in helping douse the rising wild flames, immediately rescuing people plus cleaning up debris in a successful manner. It is to be noted that fighting flames are part and parcel of his life. While talking to the BBC, Bipin rightly said that he has one and only aim in his life that is fires.
Bipin Da: A Man Who Isn’t Afraid of Fire
Bipin Ganatra is a school dropout who has indulged in odd jobs in his entire life. He has worked as a jute trader initially. Then, as an electrician, he handled fixing meters in the neighborhoods and nearby localities. In Kolkata, Bipin hasn’t missed perfectly lending a helping hand immediately at even a single major and minor fire incident. In the last 40 years, he is the only individual apart from the fire brigade officials and higher authorities who had been to almost each and every fire accident related site in and around Kolkata. With much love and affection, local people and personnel’s of the fire department of the state of West Bengal call him as Bipin da.
Bipin Handles Fires With Passion
It is to be remembered that Bipin lives alone in Kolkata for many years. He keeps a keen eye through the print and electronic media over the incidents of fire being largely reported from this city. His primary sources of details and its related information are from radio news and local news channels. It is to be noted that there have been several instances when he has immediately reached the site of the fire accident much before the arrival of Fire Brigade of the fire department of the state of West Bengal itself. While speaking to the Mid-Day, he mentioned that the fire department of the state of West Bengal offered a job to him. He declined it due to personal reason and wished carry out his passion of Fire fighting on his own. With years of personal experience, he has become so much adept at handling and managing fires that even the fire department related officials have full faith and trust in his capabilities to a great extent. He also encourages people to participate in the mock fire drill.
A Strong Emotional Reason Behind His Work
When the press asked Bipin regarding his inspiration behind these entire noble missions, he came out with a heart touching story. He stated that his elder brother named Narender Ganatra was severely burnt 40 years ago at his house in Kolkata. He rushed him to a nearby hospital but he suddenly died after strongly battling his wounds and other related health issues for a month. All these happened during a Diwali night. Bipin was just a 12-year-old kid then. In his memory, the entire incident is still etched. He says that he still sees his brother in each and every person who is stuck in a fire. He puts all his efforts to rescue from fire, people and their belongings.
Bipin Ganatra is known among locals and fire brigades as Bipin Bhai and Bipin Da. He gives first aid to people affected in fire accidents on the site. He is the man who doesn’t fear for his own life. He mentions that he don’t have much to lose. He passes a strong message in the society that fire accidents should be totally avoided. Moreover, people must extend helping hands to fire brigades when they fight fires at accident sites.
Written By: Sanjay Kumar Patra