Hyderabad: At a time when people are turning on their old parents or sick family members, a 48-year-old auto driver, Mohammed Khalid , has become a hero of sorts for those who are dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike most others who would think twice before ferrying across patients, Khalid has been providing service to COVID-19 patients those who require transportation.
Mohammed, since July 13 has been only providing transportation to people from Gandhi Hospital to private and government hospitals as and when required. Moreover, he also privodes service to COVID-19 patients to others from any part of Hyderabad as well. “This is the time to help people in need, irrespective of cast and culture I have been regularly ferrying COVID-19 patients from Gandhi Hospital to Osmania, King Koti, and Fever Hospital,” stated Khalid.
Even after the Centre relaxed lockdown rules a few months (post May) ago, there has been a dearth in passengers, recalled Khalid. “So on July 13 I went near Gandhi Hospital in Musheerabad, the main treatment centre for COVID-19 patients, and noticed that emergency patients were unable to get ambulance services as there were many cases. Then I decided to start service for them at affordable rates,” said Khalid.
The 48-year-old believes that in these difficult times, we must help each other irrespective of any religion, caste or creed. “Sab jane dare to kaisa jo log bimaar hai unlo ku kaun lekar jainga dawakhano ku (If everyone is scared, then how will people travel to the hospital)” Khalid rhetorically questioned? He has a point however, as several citizens have been complaining of slow or lack of ambulance services.
The auto rickshaw driver is also not scared of the pandemic. Furthermore, going and waiting for passengers in front of Gandhi makes him proud of what he is doing. “Carrying a patient itself is a matter of pride for me, and sharing the happiness with those who have recovered is amazing,” Khalid added. He also felt that the Telangana government should provide some monetary relief or schemes for autorickshaw drivers, as they have also been hit hard due to the lockdown.