BHOPAL: A 34-year-old autorickshaw driver in MP capital has turned his bread-winning vehicle into free ambulance service.
Meet Javed Khan, the Aishbag resident, who since the last three days has saved at least 15 lives by timely rushing them free of cost to different hospitals of Bhopal -- which is among the top two Covid hotspots of MP.
Khan, the father of three kids (two daughters and a son), who also takes care of his three daily wage labourer brothers (who don't have jobs owing to the corona curfew) sold his wife's gold necklace for Rs 5,000 to fund his mission of rendering the free auto-rickshaw ambulance to Covid and other patients.
"I stocked three months' ration for my family and subsequently used the money secured by selling wife's necklace to fund the conversion of the autorickshaw into an ambulance. The 7 kg oxygen cylinder fitted in the auto-rickshaw has been gifted by social activist Bharti Jain," Khan told The New Indian Express on Friday.
"Besides selling my wife's chain, I've also stopped the payment of the instalment of Rs 10,500 on the purchase of the auto-rickshaw to ensure that my ambulance continues to run effectively and my family too doesn't have any problems in the coming days. Some people have donated Rs 1,500 which too is helping my cause," said Khan.
The money has been used to refill the cylinder, buy pulse oxymeter, sanitizer and PPE kits and other protective gear to keep himself safe.
According to the father of three kids, for whom the auto-rickshaw was the lone bread-winner, he and wife often saw painful visuals over TV, showing people die in the want of ambulance and also having to pay hefty sums to get the ambulances.
"In agreement with my wife, I decided to start the autorickshaw-ambulance service which can be availed by anyone just by dialling my cell number 7999909494. In the last three days, I've rushed 15 Covid patients to hospitals, including AIIMS-BHOPAL, Hamidia Hospital and Paliwal Hospital. Even if people are willing to pay me, I tell them that this is for the human cause during the holy month of Ramzan," Khan said.
While Khan is the lone autorickshaw driver to start this service, he also claims that there are 10-12 more autorickshaw drivers in the city, who are ready to operate a similar service if supported by generous donors.