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From rickshaw to ambulance: Indian man helps coronavirus patients free of charge


Ambulance rikshaw developed by an Indian Muslim.

An Indian rickshaw driver has converted his three-wheeler into an ambulance for helping coronavirus patients in Bhopal, and that too, free of charge. 

Javed Khan, 34, said he was horrified at the rise in coronavirus death toll in India and it was at that moment that he decided to do something with the meagre resources he has.

“I have put sanitisers, some medicines and an oxygen cylinder,” he said. “In the past three days, I have helped 10 people who were in dire need to reach hospitals,” he added, speaking to the Times of India.

Khan is taking great pains to serve the people for free. Responding to a question, the rickshaw driver said he is meeting daily expenses after his wife gave her gold locket to him.

However, in India, getting an oxygen cylinder is no easy task.

“Buying the oxygen is a cumbersome task. I have to wait for 4-5 hours to get the cylinder refilled,” he said.

To serve coronavirus patients, Khan has stopped taking passengers and has put out his contact information on social media groups. He urged other rickshaw drivers to join him as well.

Khan said he would continue to provide his service to the people free of charge so long as they needed him. “”I will not hesitate even if I have to borrow money as people are in desperate need of help. My priority is to save the people,” he said.

A Bhopal resident, Sulekha Prabahwalka, spoke of how she had been helped by the rickshaw driver when her husband was infected with coronavirus and needed to get to a hospital.

“He came like an angel to us. On April 26, I was running from pillar to post to get my husband hospitalised for Covid. There was no ambulance available. We took Javed bhai’s help,” she said.

She said Khan didn’t even take a single paisa from her for helping them reach the hospital. Prabahwalka said when her husband gets discharged from the hospital, they would go to meet Khan to thank him properly.

A civil engineer named Showmik Dutta could not get any cab to reach home after being discharged from hospital around 11pm. “I was in JK hospital. Javed came to JK from Pul Bogda and dropped me at Berkhera Pathani. He refused to take any money from me,” said Dutta.




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