The second wave of the pandemic has hit India very hard, as the number of positive cases is rising so fast that the hospitals are faltering to accommodate them. Currently, there is an acute shortage of beds, oxygen, and ambulances at hospitals. Seeing this, Javed Khan, an auto driver from Bhopal has turned his ambulance into a makeshift ambulance and is providing the service free of cost. Mr Khan’s auto is equipped with necessary things like an oxygen cylinder, a PPE kit, a sanitiser, and an oximeter.
"I saw a lot on social media, WhatsApp and news channels that several people are forced to carry their relatives on the shoulder or pull them on carts due to unavailability of ambulances. That is when I thought I could do something for humanity," Mr Khan told news agency ANI. "I sold my wife's gold necklace for ₹ 5,000 and bought an oxygen cylinder to turn this auto into an ambulance. I refuel the auto with my money," he further said.
Talking about how he manages to procure oxygen when the whole country is facing an oxygen crisis, he said, "There is a factory in Govindpura. We get oxygen refilled from there. It is a tedious task as we have to stand in the line for 4-5 hours. The cost of refilling the oxygen cylinders ranges from ₹ 450-550." Mr Khan has been providing this service for the last 15-20 days in Bhopal.
"It is completely free. I have shared my mobile number on social media platforms - 7999909494. Whoever is in trouble and is not able to get an ambulance, can call me. I am ready to help people 24 hours," Mr Khan said.
Speaking of the three-wheeler, it is the Bajaj RE, the newest iteration in a long line of autorickshaws from the auto giant. It is powered by a 236 cc single-cylinder engine that churns out max power and torque figures of 11 PS and 19 Nm and is mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. The RE is available in petrol, CNG, and LPG variants.