In another powerful portrayal of humanity, the country is collectively witnessing a rise of auto ambulances in the nation as coronavirus’ second wave rages on. By Bayar Jain
As positive COVID-19 cases rise in the country, hospitals and medical centres in the nation are crumbling under the pressure—most finding it difficult to cater to the upward surge in positive cases. Easing this burden are auto ambulances.
In short, auto ambulances are three wheelers synonymous to the country which come equipped with oxygen cylinders and a PPE-clad driver. These vehicles are meant to ease the burden on overworked hospital ambulances while also helping ferry patients to medical centres at affordable rates.
1. Mohammad Javed Khan, Bhopal
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One of the first auto ambulances to come up in the country, Mohammad Javed Khan’s novel move garnered praise from world over for his free auto ambulance services. Al Jazeera reports that Khan transformed his rickshaw in Bhopal post seeing poverty-stricken families unable to book ambulances for coronavirus patients. The 34-year-old, as per the report, sold his wife’s jewellery to fund for the oxygen cylinders, oximeter, and other medical supplies that are now attached to his vehicle. Since then, Khan has reportedly been getting donations to continue his Samaritan efforts.
2. Dattatraya Sawant, Mumbai
Dattatraya Sawant, a school teacher by profession and a part-time autorickshaw driver, gives free rickshaw rides to COVID patients
He picks up and drops patients from hospital without charging them. Hats off to his noble initiative.
Pray that we overcome this soon🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/fieGYvWQCu
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) May 1, 2021
Seeing a spike in positive coronavirus cases in Mumbai, part time school teacher Dattatraya Sawant converted his auto into an ambulance, notes ANI. Complete with oxygen and sanitation protocols, PPE-clad Sawant ferries patients to COVID-19 care centres and hospitals free of cost. Further, he extends this service for patients getting discharged from hospitals too.
3. Panah Foundation, Ahmedabad
Post helping migrants with documentation for availing government benefits, non-governmental organisation (NGO) Panah Foundation has now created a collective of 14 autos in Ahmedabad which double as ambulances for COVID-19 patients. Functioning entirely on donations, these auto ambulances also distribute ration kits, states a Facebook post by the foundation. Indian Express notes that the NGO hopes to introduce temporary COVID-19 care centres to eliminate queues and formalities famous to hospitals.
4. Manjunath Pujari, Belgaum
A long-time philanthropist, Belgaum’s Manjunath Pujari is no new name with respect to free auto ambulance services. Pujari’s service began in 2015, as reported by Reader’s Digest, when he decided to use his vehicle for late-night medical emergencies. His sustained efforts have been widely recognised and have even earned him a spot on the coveted Limca Book of World Records.
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One of the few government-partnered initiatives of its kind, Turn Your Concern Into Action (TYCIA) Foundation has teamed up with the office of Delhi’s Rajya Sabha to run 10 fully sanitised auto ambulances. These round-the-clock functioning ambulances have been introduced for moderately ill COVID-19 patients who cannot cough up exorbitant prices for a medical vehicle. Going forward, the team hopes to 20 more autos to the fleet.
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