The second wave of the coronavirus placed an unprecedented burden on our medical infrastructure and we witnessed people struggling to find even basic amenities like an ambulance to take their patients to hospitals. However, an auto driver in Kerala’s Kannur came forward in this crisis and used his auto to ferry patients. According to a news report by ANI, an auto driver named Premachandran has been using his auto to transport patients to the hospital and has helped nearly 500 patients till now. It all started when he first transported a pregnant woman to the hospital. The woman was a Gulf returnee and showed symptoms that were similar to COVID-19. After this, he started getting calls from others and even local authorities too helped him connect to these patients. While other drivers were reluctant to ferry such patients, Premachandran had no such hesitations. He says that his trips have increased after the first lockdown and the surge in COVID-19 infections. He says that he disinfects his auto every time any of these patients tests positive.
Premachandran has been an auto driver for 30 years and for him, this effort is more of a service that he is doing in this battle against this pandemic. He also mentions his family’s support and adds that despite the risk of coronavirus infection, his wife and children have been supportive of his initiative.
Kerala | A 51-year-old autorickshaw driver from Vellur, Kannur offered 500+ rides to people with #COVID19 symptoms to hospitals
"Asha workers & local authorities gave me trips of those who were in need of medical assistance. Trips increased during lockdown," says Premachandran pic.twitter.com/rUrQYUzmbo
— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2021
In another similar story from Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, an auto driver named Jitendra Shinde has been using his auto to ferry COVID-19 patients to the hospital since the announcement of lockdown in March 2020. Jitendra has helped over 1000 COVID-19 patients to reach the hospital. He does not charge any money from the patients and has spent over Rs 2 lakhs from his own pocket.
While the situation created by COVID-19 has been tough, people like Premachandran and Jitendra give hope that if we work together helping each other, we will soon be over this pandemic.