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