Amid pandemic, Ranchi auto driver ferrying Covid patients to hospitals for free


Express News Service

RANCHI: Amid the ongoing Covid crisis, where ambulance operators are charging at their will for ferrying patients, this 21-year auto-rickshaw driver is taking them to hospitals for free.

Ravi Agrawal, who is also pursuing his B. Com from Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav College in Ranchi, has even put his number on social media asking people to call in case of any medical emergency.

Ravi said while waiting for passengers on April 15, he saw an old woman begging the taxi and auto drivers for taking her to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), but everyone turned down her request suspecting her to be a Covid patient.

“Looking at her problems, I offered to take her to RIMS and dropped her there. She offered me Rs 200 for the service but I refused to take it due to some unknown reasons. While returning home, I realised the problems being faced by those who are infected by the deadly virus,” said Ravi. It gave him immense
satisfaction for the first time that he did something good for someone, he added.

“After that incident, I decided to provide free service for corona patients and posted my phone number on social media asking people to call me in case they required any help from me,” said Ravi.

“Since then, I have been receiving several calls and ferrying corona passengers to hospitals. It gives me immense satisfaction that at least I am doing something good for society,” said Ravi. So far, he has served more than 20 patients, he added.

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“I receive several calls during the day. As it is not possible for me to go faraway places hence, I am concentrating on the patients who are in the vicinity of 10-12 kilometers from my place,” said the auto driver.

Being the only earning member of the family, which includes his parents and a brother, Ravi also works as a newspaper vendor and supplies bottled water.

Ravi further said it’s not that he is not afraid of coronavirus, but this is not the time to sit back at home. “I would like to tell people that they must help each other at this point of time when they need each other’s help to defeat coronavirus,” said Ravi. It’s better to fight with it rather than sitting idle back at home, he added.

People who have got free services from Ravi said they are thankful to him as he has come forward like a ray of hope at a time when there is darkness everywhere.

“That man is like a god to us as he took me to the hospital when the ambulance operators were not ready for it. Those, who were ready, were charging as their will. When I called up this man, he reached my place within 30 minutes and saved my life,” said Hawaldar Singh, a resident of Kokar in Ranchi.

Interestingly, Ravi again dropped him off at his home from RIMS after his recovery free of cost, he added.

Ravi follows the protocol advised by the government and sanitizes the auto after taking each of the patients to the hospital. He also takes all precautions before entering his home for the sake of the safety of his family members.

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