In Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, an ambulance is very difficult to find as the city is grappling with the deadly second wave of the COVID pandemic, but a young Muslim boy namely Javed Khan an autorickshaw driver has turned his vehicle into a free ambulance service for Covid patients, that too with oxygen support.
Khan who earns Rs 200-300 per day, is living from hand to mouth and has limited financial resources and says he had to sell his wife’s jewellery to keep his humanitarian act going.
“I saw on social media and news channels how people were being carried to hospitals due to the shortage of ambulances. So I thought of doing this,” he told news agency ANI. “I sold my wife’s jewellery for this. I queue up outside a refill centre and get oxygen. My contact number is available on social media. People can call me up if there’s no ambulance. I’ve been doing this for 15-20 days now and have taken 9 serious patients to hospital.”
Javid remains so occupied in offering the service to the needy that he hardly finds time for family.
Local residents say it is difficult to arrange an ambulance here these days and the ones that are available are often unaffordable with operators are charging too much money.
This provided an impetus to Javed Khan, a resident of the Bagh Farhatwaza area, to come forward. The autorickshaw driver has also arranged an oxygen cylinder for the patients who often need respiratory support.
To keep himself safe from infection, Khan has fixed a plastic sheet as a partition inside the vehicle and also keeps a bottle of hand sanitiser. Instead of picking up the usual passengers, he spends his time these days mostly ferrying Covid patients and also queues up to get his oxygen cylinder refilled.