As the parade came an end, thousands of people flocked to the crossings around India Gate looking for transport to return home. At one such crossing, a stretcher, a medicine box and other medical paraphernalia was guarded by a young man in uniform. He was part of a Red Cross team appointed by the government for first-aid help to members of the parade.
On duty since January 17, the Red Cross teams have been stationed at almost 20 crossings across the parade’s path.
Stationed just before India Gate, Arjun, the north district in-charge, said, “We have been positioned here since 3 am. Usually our duty would start at 7 am during rehearsals. We treat Delhi Police personnel and other members of the contingent for immediate relief. At our point, 25 people have so far been dressed and bandaged for wounds.”
The staff said that the wounds occur due to handling rifles, shoe bite due to standing for long hours, lifting heavy weights, or injuries while dismounting animals. They also hand out more than 20 tablets a day for headache or cold. Posts at the beginning and end of the parade path are busiest.
“Today almost 200 people were treated on either side. Many officers have been stationed since 1 am in the night. People often feel dizzy due to exertion, for which we have a stretcher as well. It’s a lot of hard work, putting up such a grand display.”