Kolkata: Tracking of missing persons at Gangasagar Mela is all set to get easier this year with the state Disaster Management department, state police, state Inter Agency Group (IAG) and National Institute of Amateur Radio joining hands to develop a website that is solely dedicated to trace out missing persons.
It is perhaps for the first time in the country when such a portal, thoroughly dedicated for tracing a missing person, is being introduced in a fair.
The details of the missing person along with his/her description and contact number will be immediately uploaded in the portal and a docket number will be generated. The missing person's relatives will have the option of tracking him/her by entering the docket number.
The site will also have the option of uploading voice recording of the missing person, which will be automatically translated through a tool. "Sometimes we find it difficult to decipher the accent of some pilgrims, particularly the south Indians. This option will be of immense help in such cases," a senior official of the state Disaster Management department said.
It may be mentioned that the site has been developed by one Nilkantha Chatterjee, who is a member of West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club), an organisation of amateur radio enthusiasts in the state. A team of 45 hams from the Club will be working at Gangasagar Mela this year.
"We are setting up ham radio stations at the two water ambulances provided by the state government, that will be responsible for ferrying sick people to the hospital, particularly in case of heart ailments. The radio station will ensure uninterrupted communication of the ambulance to the nearby hospital and the latter will have the infrastructure in place to provide treatment as soon as the patient reaches the hospital," said Ambarish Nag Biswas, secretary of West Bengal Radio Club.
If doctors attending the patient in the water ambulance feel that the patient's condition is such that he needs to be taken to a hospital of much better infrastructure like SSKM, then the radio station will also help them to coordinate with the city hospital.
It may be mentioned that the chief medical officer of health (CMOH) of South 24-Parganas, had recently conducted a meeting with all stakeholders, including the radio club and have asked them to ensure that no pilgrims are left to recapitulate at the local hospitals for too long after the fair comes to an end.
The radio club, in the last few months, has been responsible for reuniting a number of patients lodged in different hospitals with their families. Most of them were estranged from their families after coming on pilgrimage in the state.