How a Bengaluru-based NGO reused old Omni vans as ambulances to offer free service for COVID-19 patients

A lot of us listen to these requests every day;  “Urgent ambulance requirement”, “Urgent oxygen requirement”, “In need of Remedisivir for a patient who is critical”. Some of these requests are so common that it has become a part of our daily routines, similar to how we scroll Instagram every morning when we wake up. 

We hear the tales of ambulances charging Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 to carry the patients and their families to the hospital, even when it involves a shorter distance. 

It is merely impossible for some of the families to afford such a huge amount for a shorter distance. Some of them do make the upfront payment simply because they stand no choice. 

To help such COVID patients who are in dire need of emergency care, a Bengaluru-based NGO has offered a remedy to the rescue: converting old Omni vans into ambulances. 

“Drive Without Borders (DWB)” has come up with a plan to convert the old Omni vans into ambulances with an in-built stretcher and two oxygen cylinders. The services provided will be free of cost. 

“The entire process of conversion took a week. We want to add at least another 10 more such ambulance shortly”, the founder of DWB Mr. Waseem Memom said

Pandemics are complex emergencies. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly agrees to it. What started as a health emergency, has now extended to humanitarian crises. Political, economical, and psychological systems are at the tip of the iceberg. 

When bad things happen, we believe that we would do whatever necessary to change the situation. With the COVID-19 cases rising each day in India, we are observing a widespread shortage of ambulances to ferry patients along with their families to the hospitals. A lot of them are unable to afford an ambulance as the operators charge exorbitant rates. 

Memom has been volunteering since the pandemic started. The rush and dedication to providing help to the needful only improved over the time in his case. 

“You get an Omni van for Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 and spares are available at a cheaper price. An imported stretcher would cost around Rs 35,000, cylinders for about Rs 10,000, welding charges, a siren, and the RTO charges. Overall, it comes up to about Rs 1.25 lakh per ambulance,” said Memom.  

The target is to operate 10-11 ambulances in case of emergencies around Bengaluru city. For doing so, Memom has decided to raise funds of Rs 12.5 lakh to remodel the old Omni vans.

Memom also explained how these Omni vans will be donated to charitable hospitals for future use. He has also eyed school van drivers who are unemployed due to the pandemic. 

Memom added, “we have always felt it our primary duty to provide whatever assistance we can in times of a humanitarian crisis”. The organization is also accepting donations from whosoever wishes to donate. 

Let us not give a chance to be blamed for being injustice towards humanity once normalcy is restored and we are back to where our country was before the pandemic started. These are our heroes who are rescuing people when they are helpless and let us make them proud by sharing their story!!!

Sign Up for nextbigwhat newsletter

The smartest newsletter, partly written by AI.

Download, the short news app for busy professionals