Vadodara : Atulbhai Thakkar, a rickshaw driver living in Akshar chowk area of Vadodara, has been running a ‘free auto rickshaw ambulance’ for the last 10 years. He provides free services to take patients to the hospital from 11 pm to 5 am and so far more than 500 patients have availed the ‘free auto-rickshaw ambulance’ service and Atulbhai has saved their lives by getting many people to the hospital on time.
“One day my health suddenly deteriorated, so my wife called Atulbhai,” said Kanchanbhai Parekh, a resident of Vadodara. He immediately came to my house and took me to the hospital and I got timely treatment and underwent surgery for my tumour.”
Rickshaw driver Atulbhai Thakkar currently lives in Akshar Residency in Akshar chowk area of Vadodara city. On January 18, 2011, his wife Preetiben Thakkar’s health suddenly deteriorated. However, unfortunately, Atulbhai’s rickshaw was punctured that day and even 108 ambulances could not reach the spot. He couldn’t find a rickshaw nearby and after searching hard, he found one rickshaw.
Atulbhai begged the rickshaw driver to take his wife to the hospital. However, the rickshaw driver finally agreed to come to the hospital for Rs 100. So he took his wife to the hospital in a rickshaw. His wife had to be kept in ICU for 3 days. However, his wife could not get proper treatment as she could not reach the hospital on time, so his wife Preetiben’s heart now works only 35 per cent.
Rickshaw driver Atulbhai Thakkar said that 10 years ago my wife did not get timely treatment, God saved her, but today she was suffering from many ailments. So the thought came to my mind that even though I have both a rickshaw and money, I faced so much trouble, how much trouble those who don’t have money and vehicles would have been facing. So I decided to start a ‘free auto-rickshaw ambulance’ for people in need. My mother also agreed to start this service. I started the ‘Free Auto-rickshaw Ambulance’ service on my birthday on February 15, 2011 and so far more than 500 patients, including pregnant women, have benefited.
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