On November 4, 2016 a 53-year-old beggar, Ramulu suffering from leprosy was forced to push a cart carrying his dead wife’s body for more than 80 km and 24 hours in Telangana because he didn’t have the money a local hospital demanded for an ambulance.
Kavitha and Ramulu, both leprosy patients, earned a living by begging at Langer Houz in Hyderabad. Kavitha died on the night of November 4 2016 near Lingampally railway station due to ill health.
Ramulu, a native of Manoormandal in Medak district, wanted to perform the last rites of his wife there.
The disheartening news was covered by almost all the leading newspapers and channels showing us the ugly face of humanity in big cities. We all blamed the hospital, the system and every individual who might have crossed Ramulu without lending a hand to help. The social media was full of anguish and shame at the time.
Among all of us who felt helpless about this incidence, was one man who refused to treat it just as another piece of news and forget about it. He decided to help every Ramulu who would be denied an ambulance just because of a lack of money.
This man was a Hyderabad based mechanic named Mohammed Shahzore Khan. 43-year-old Mohammed, who is the owner of Deccan Motorcycle and Scooter Garage in Nampally, designed a bike ambulance by customising a Hero HF Deluxe motorbike by attaching a sidecar equipped with a fully functional ambulance unit to it.
“This was not the first time that I read something like this. There was news about a gentleman called Dena Majhi from Odisha who went through a similar ordeal. This is a serious issue especially in rural areas where people can either not afford an ambulance or there are no roads for an ambulance to reach them,” Mohammed told TBI from Nampally.
Mohammed started making the ambulance in April this year and it was ready within 35 days.
The bike ambulance is equipped with a bed/stretcher, saline stand, mattresses and pillows, emergency medical kit, oxygen cylinder and other necessary equipment.
He made the bike ambulance in just Rs.1.10 lakh and it can carry one patient at a time.
“Often one can see an ambulance stuck in heavy traffic, trying to reach the hospital on time. This bike ambulance will be very useful in congested areas with heavy traffic and will be able to zip through the traffic during crucial emergencies, where a heavy vehicle can never reach on time,” he says.
Deccan Motorcycle and Scooter Garage was established in 1951 by Mohammed’s father and the father- son duo along with a team of 10 members have come up with modified vehicles aimed at helping the needy in the past too. The firm has been redesigning cars and motorbikes for specially-abled people.
“Though my father is no more now, he has inspired me to work for the needy all his life and that lesson will remain with me for ever,” says Mohammed.
Mohammed is trying to get government’s approval for the ambulance. His main focus is to cut down on the cost of the bike ambulance as far as possible so that anyone can buy it and donate it to the needy.
You can call Mohammed Shahzore Khan at 9849504054 or 9177226338 if you wish to buy any vehicle especially designed for the physically challenged.