The Man Behind Village Motorcycle-Ambulance Service

In a rural Indian province where access to healthcare is limited, one man has taken it upon himself to transport patients to faraway hospitals with the aid of his motorcycle.

Fifty-three-year-old tea estate worker, Karimal Haque – who lives in Rajadanga, a small village in West Bengal state – has become a local hero for transporting ailing residents in need of urgent medical attention.

With the aid of his motorcycle-powered “ambulance”, he has transported more than 5 000 people from approximately 20 villages to these hospitals – one of which is 45 km away – without charging a penny for his services.

Haque was inspired to launch this service in 1995, when his mother passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was unable to find an ambulance to take her to a hospital, nor was he able to secure help from his fellow villagers.

For his work, Haque was deservedly awarded the Padma Shri Award in 2017, one of the highest civilian honours of India.

In addition to heading his makeshift ambulance service, Haque helps to raise health awareness by regularly running health camps in tribal areas.

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