Dr. Dhananjay Datar sponsors 'Rickshaw Ambulance' initiative for Covid-19 patients

Pune - A fleet of 25 auto rickshaw ambulances equipped with oxygen cylinders and other medical equipment has been readied for transporting patients.

By Staff Report

Published: Sun 13 Jun 2021, 2:54 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Jun 2021, 3:42 PM

A UAE-based businessman has fully sponsored a novel initiative called ‘Rickshaw Ambulance’ that transports critical Covid-19 patients.

Launched in Pune, India, the service ensures Covid patients in need of oxygen are taken to hospital on time.

Dr Dhananjay Datar, CMD, Al Adil Group, UAE, has now sponsored the patient transport service that’s implemented by NGOs ‘Swadesh Sewa Foundation’ and ‘Baghtoy Rickshawwalla Forum’.

Under the initiative, a fleet of 25 auto-rickshaw ambulances equipped with oxygen cylinders and other medical equipment is on call around the clock.

These rickshaw ambulances will initially serve Pune city and surrounding talukas, including Mulashi, Mawal and also cities like Pimpari-Chinchwad, Bhor, Ahmednagar and Sangli.

The promoters have set a goal to increase the number of rickshaw ambulances from 25 to 100 in the near future.

Elaborating on the concept, Dhanashree Patil, coordinator of the initiative and founder of Swadesh Sewa Foundation, said: “The recent second wave of Covid-19 has made us realise the importance of oxygen in critical (cases). Also, another prominent aspect underlined was the importance of transporting the patients who need oxygen to nearby hospitals immediately.

“The unavailability of oxygen cylinders or an ambulance in time leads to serious problems and may even cause a patient to lose his life.

“Sometimes, the problem occurs when a patient’s home is located in a small alley. Due to the narrow road, ambulances can’t reach there. We found a solution: To use an auto-rickshaw as an ambulance. Due to the compact size of an auto-rickshaw, it can easily reach and move in narrow alleys.

“If such rickshaws are equipped with an oxygen cylinder and other essential medical equipment, they can transport the patients to nearby hospitals with continuous oxygen supply.”

Dr Dhananjay Datar, a philanthropist, offered support to the initiative.

“He offered us his full support and financial assistance and ‘Baghtoy Rickshawwalla Forum’ has contributed a fleet of 25 rickshaws and a dedicated team of drivers. We are grateful to both.”

A team of expert doctors is also contributing to the initiative. “This team will continuously remain in touch with rickshaw ambulance drivers. After relatives of patients call on our helpline number (+91-96572 89411), the rickshaw ambulance reaches their doorstep. These doctors will start guiding the rickshaw driver on how to take care of the patients while shifting them to hospitals.

“The team of drivers is already trained under the guidance of these doctors for carrying out activities like using pulse oximeter, checking the level of oxygen by handling oxygen flow meter, supplying oxygen to the patient, etc.”

Dr Dhananjay Datar said Al Adil group always supports “novel” social projects and initiatives. “When the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world, we helped thousands of jobless and penniless Indians who were stranded in Gulf countries to return home safely.

“We sponsored their air travel, medical tests and food kits. Recently, we honoured 150 corona warriors from Pune, who performed the last rites for the deceased.

“It was a salute to their noble work and dedication. We are happy to be associated with Rickshaw Ambulance. Since the pandemic is not over yet, we should be more alert to provide medical care to the needy sections of society.”

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