K Ravichandran, a 48-year-old auto driver from Chennai, mortgaged his auto to pay for the medical expenses of his passenger who suffered a cardiac arrest during the ride.
It happened a few months ago when a passenger boarded his auto to go from Ramapuram to Triplicane. They had reached Mount Road, when the passenger, who was about 57 years old, complained of chest pains. The Good Samaritan took the passenger to a nearby clinic, where he was referred to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.
Doctors there informed Ravichandran that the patient had three blocks in his heart’s blood vessels, and they would have to place a pace-maker for his recovery.
Picture for representation only. Source: Angus/Flickr
On informing his family, the passenger’s son arrived from Kolkata that night. The cost of treatment was about Rs. 1 lakh. They spoke with the hospital’s Dean and got the cost reduced to Rs. 47,000. But his son was left with Rs. 15,000 only after spending on flight tickets.
“I decided to pledge my auto rickshaw, the only property I owned and managed to pay the balance,” Ravichandran told The New Indian Express.
This Sunday, Ravichandran was rewarded by the Anna Auto Welfare Trust – an organisation that was started to motivate auto rickshaw drivers and acknowledge them for such laudable deeds. 16 other auto drivers including three women were also awarded.
Anil Khicha founded Anna Auto Trust with the view that people who visit Chennai, meet auto rickshaw drivers first. And the kind of behaviour they experience, forms their impression about the city. If the good work of drivers is appreciated, it will encourage them to do better.
According to the report, the trust has printed stickers asking passengers to send their feedback to 9243000111. Based on this feedback, they call drivers who have behaved well and honour them every month.