Unknown, Unsung Hero ‘Bike-Ambulance Dada’ Who Saved More Than 3500 Lives
- Karimul Haque provides 24x7 free of cost ambulance bike ferry service
- He has benefitted more than 3500 people in West Bengal's Dhalabari village
- He helps fatal road accident victims along with people with health problems
Karimul Haque’s mother from West Bengal’s Dhalabari village couldn’t be saved because she couldn’t reach the hospital on time. After this sudden loss, 52-year-old Karimul Haque had two choices – to try and forget the misfortune or keep his mother’s memories alive in a meaningful way. Karimul decided to buy a motorbike on loan and start helping people in his village by getting them to hospitals on time. He started helping road accident victims, people with health problems and all those who needed immediate emergency care. Today, he is known as ‘Bike-Ambulance Dada,’ and provides free ambulance bike ferry service 24×7, to help locals access medical services swiftly.
Ours was a very poor family, I never had a vehicle and therefore I could not take my mother to hospital on time. She suffered a heart attack and needed an immediate emergency care. I was helpless as in my village there is no ambulance service available. I saw her die in front of me and that’s the day when I pledged that I will help my villagers so as no one dies like my mother recalls Karimul Haque.
His selfless service for over the last 8 years has not gone unrecognized and he has also been awarded the fourth highest civilian award in the country, Padma Shri.
Ferrying a patient to the hospital in an ambulance in our region is a luxury and majority here is not that lucky to get that privilege, added the safety crusader.
Tying patients on his back, Mr Haque soon became the only hope of survival for 20 villages in and around Dhalabari.
The nearest public health center is 8km away from our village, but it lacks proper healthcare facilities, therefore most of the times I drive patients to the hospital located in Malbazar which is about 45km away, said Mr Haque.
Karimul gets a meagre Rs 5,000 every month, half of which he spends buying fuel for his bike and medicines for the poor.
I love what I do, I have no complaints! Sometimes it becomes difficult but because I have inspired many people in my village, so I have a continuous support from them in terms of money, added Mr Haque.
Sometimes, when tragic events in the village like floods prevented Karimul from ferrying people to the hospitals, he provided basic care to the patients at their doorstep.
I soon realised that there is the need for me to learn basics of medical care which is crucial for the patients. I started taking intensive training from the local doctors about how to dress a wound and administer an injection, said Mr Haque.
For locals he is like an angel who has arrived to help them. When asked about his ultimate dream, he concludes by saying, “All I want is a better future for my villagers. No one should die before going to the hospital. I hope for an ambulance which is fitted with advanced healthcare facilities. That will help people who live in remote areas like us in a big way. But, even after that, I will continue to rescue people on my bike because the bike ambulance is my mother and how can one leave his Maa (mother)?”
Impressed by Mr Haque’s efforts, Bajaj Automobiles gifted a specially designed Bajaj V15 motorcycle ambulance to him, fitted with a waterproof stretcher and ports for oxygen cylinder.
Mr Haque signed off by saying that, “I have seen many people struggling for survival, every now and then there is a fatal road accident here. All I want is to help them fight the battle of life in whatever way I can.”