JALPAIGURI: Karimul Haque, who won the Padmashree award in 2017 for extending "bike ambulance" services to residents of West Bengal's Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts, is suffering from an eye ailment.
According to a private eye institute in Jalpaiguri's Malbazar, Haque, who is in his mid-fifties, is having difficulty in binocular vision.
Binocular vision enables a two-eyed animal to perceive a three-dimensional image.
The Padmashree awardee, with whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi had clicked a selfie and on whose life a Bollywood flick is being planned, told PTI on Monday that each monthly injection that he needs to cure his ailment costs him around Rs 12,000, and he is unable to bear the expenses.
"Though I am building a hospital in my village with the help of the locals, I have not yet received any help from the state or central government apart from Rs 3.27 lakh donated by former Jalpaiguri MP Bijoy Chandra Burman," he said.
Haque, known as "Ambulance Man", said he is building the hospital on 0.88 acre of his land in his village.
According to the Jalpaiguri district administration, at least 3,500 to 4,000 patients in over 20 villages have benefitted from his 24-hour free "motorbike ambulance" service.
Haque had taken to the charity 15 years ago after losing his mother due to lack of ambulance services in his village.