Elderly voters of Dharapuram in TN get free ride to booths, thanks to an ambulance driver

Fazil Hussan added, “On Thursday, I saw news about elderly and disabled people who desperately want to cast their votes but are unable to do so. This made me post about the free service on all social media platforms.
Fazil Hussan, the ambulance driver, and his staff taking an elderly person on a wheelchair to the polling booth in Dharapuram of Tiruppur on Friday
Fazil Hussan, the ambulance driver, and his staff taking an elderly person on a wheelchair to the polling booth in Dharapuram of Tiruppur on Friday(Photo | Express)

TIRUPPUR: Offering a helping hand to those in need, an ambulance driver transported elderly voters from their homes to polling booths in Dharapuram on Friday.

Fazil Hussan (29), the good samaritan, told TNIE, “I have been running the Sugam Ambulance for the past nine years. I mainly provide services to patients and elderly in and around Dharapuram town.”

He added that the service was not pre-planned. “On Thursday, I saw news about elderly and disabled people who desperately want to cast their votes but are unable to do so. This made me post about the free service on all social media platforms. I also informed my staff, another driver, to be present on Friday after casting vote.

The first call was from Thalavaipattinam, 10 km away from Dharapuram town. “Two people, a 50-year-old bedridden man and a 70-year-old woman with age-related ailments wanted to cast their votes. When we reached the spot, they were ready with their voter’s ID and we took them in the van. We also took them inside the booth on wheelchairs. The smile on their face after casting votes made our day,” he said.

They later got calls from two septuagenarians of Athikalam, a 65-year-old woman from Ponniah School, and three other elderly patients. “All of them were taken to their respective polling booths,” he added.

TN Different Abled Welfare and Rights Association (Tiruppur) secretary B Rajesh said, “There are around 12,000 disabled and thousands of elderly people in the district and majority of them were willing to vote. However, due to lack of facilities, not all of them could vote. Their votes can only be ensured with the support of NGOs and social workers like Fazil.”

A Differently-Abled Welfare official said, “This is a great help to the disabled and elderly. We welcome such initiatives and expect more people to do similar services.”

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