Ganatra, as a child, would run after fire engines when he heard them and would begin assisting the firemen once he arrived at the scene of the fire. He was just 12 years old when he lost his elder brother, Narendra, in a bizarre fire that occurred when a spark dropped on fuel that his brother was handling while working on a motorcycle. Narendra was admitted to the hospital but he died from his injuries a little more than a month later.
Bipin Ganatra (born around 1957) is an electrician in Kolkata. He is also an unofficial volunteer firefighter and was given the Padma Shri in 2017 for his efforts in fighting fires in the city. “He is a man of great courage and spirit. He performs exceptionally well considering that he has no official training in firefighting. He uses our tools and acts as a sort of coach for our firefighters. Now he works almost like a pro,” a senior fire department official reported.
Bipin, originally from Gujarat, has been volunteering as a firefighter in Kolkata, where 1,258 firefighters battled 2,000 fires in 2014 and 1,600 in 2015. He works as an electrician, gets a low wage, and then borrows from his buddies to make ends meet. He also assists the police with traffic control.
He first assisted firefighters with odd chores before becoming a professional firefighter. Bipin has helped put out more than 100 fires over 40 years, helping to rescue people, clear away debris, and douse flames. One of his most notable accomplishments was the dramatic rescue of a pregnant woman who was stranded on the fifth floor of a burning building. To get to the woman and persuade her to down, Bipin ascended the structure because she was too terrified to move. In addition to risking his life to remove two intact cylinders from a flaming warehouse on Strand Road, Bipin has been hurt multiple times while assisting in extinguishing flames.
He’s been called a “fire-chaser” since he spends his days and nights watching the news on his TV to spot flames. When a fire starts, Bipin alerts the fire department. Despite his services to the force, he commutes to the location alone on public transportation. The fire department has awarded him a special steel volunteer card and a khaki outfit to appreciate his efforts.
Fire Prevention and Consultancy Services would like to take this chance to thank him for his unflinching spirit and pay him tribute.