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PTI churaibari India
Updated: 06-01-2019 11:55 IST

Biswajit Chanda, a

30-year-old labourer, was worried that it might take him years

to pull together money for his son's cleft lip surgery, but a

train that chugged into Tripura's Churaibari station last

month brought smile back on his two-year-old boy's face.

Chanda happens to be just one among 8,000 cases

attended over the past 20 days by Lifeline Express - a

hospital train that travels to inaccessible rural areas where

medical services are limited.

Set up by NGO Impact India Foundation and Indian

Railways and Ministry of Health in 1991, the express train has

conducted 199 heath camps in different parts of the country

since its inauguration.

"Lifeline Express arranged for my accommodation and

food for a week and performed the surgery on my son without

any cost," said the 30-year-old daily wage labourer, who hails

from Nandigram village in neighbouring Assam.

Anil Premsagar, the joint director of the hospital

train, said 1200 patients have undergone cataract operation in

the first two days.

"We started functioning since December 18 here and

opened two out patient departments with 20 permanent staff,

including doctors from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. More

than 900 cancer victims and equal number of patients suffering

from dental problems were treated in 17 days," he said.

Pawan Kumar, who looks after the managerial aspects of

the train, said the initiative has received funding from

Tripura Bharat Petroleum and voluntary support from local NGOs

and district hospitals at Churaibari, near Assam border.

"I am associated with this mobile hospital for the

past two years. It gives me immense joy to work for people in

rural areas of the country, where facilities are limited. This

is the first camp we organised in Tripura," he said.

The air-conditioned train, which received two more

coaches in 2017, has travelled to 22 states.

"Earlier we had 3 coaches, then 5, and now we have

seven coaches, which was added to the rake in December 2017.

The government and the Railways help us carry out our job

successfully," Kumar added.

Jagadish Chandra Nama, the chief medical officer (CMO)

of North Tripura district, said the state health department

provided 11 personnel for assisting the Lifeline Express.

"We set up a makeshift hostel and a hospital for the

patients and provided them with ambulances and food supplies,"

he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)