Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], April 23 (ANI): Amid the gloom over the rising coronavirus infections, an auto driver in Ranchi has come as a ray of hope for people facing a medical emergency.
Auto driver Ravi Agarwal is offering free rides to people who need to go to hospitals at a time when due to the COVID-19 pandemic most other auto drivers are refusing to take them to hospitals.
Talking to ANI, Agarwal said that he is running the service since April 15.
"There was a woman who needed to go to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). No auto driver was ready to take her there out of fear. She was ready to pay whatever money was being demanded. I offered to take her and dropped her near the trauma centre there. I don't know if she was a Covid patient or not, but I declined to accept the money she offered. When I was returning, I realised that many people like her are being denied transport services because of the fear of Covid," he said.
The auto driver said that he has started a 'campaign' to offer free rides to people in a medical emergency, and for that, he has put his contact details on social media so that more and more people can reach him.
"I have started receiving calls. Many people are thinking that I am associated with some hospital, and they are asking about the availability of beds and oxygen. I'm also receiving calls from people who are saying they are infected by the coronavirus and there is nobody to take them to hospital," he said.
However, Agarwal clarifies that his services are not limited to Covid patients. "I offer rides to anyone who faces an emergency," he added.
When asked how he is managing the cost of fuel, the auto driver said that after dropping the patients, he takes a paying passenger while on his way back. "The money other passengers pay funds the fuel used for free ride service. Till today I have provided my services to at least 16 people," he added. (ANI)