Dealing with an auto-rickshaw driver can often be a pain for Indian commuters, but a Chennai auto-rickshaw driver’s gesture to help a passenger puts to rest all standard images people have of them.
The incident happened when the 48-year-old was taking a passenger to his destination, who suffered a cardiac arrest mid-way.
“It must be a couple of months ago. A passenger, aged about 57 years boarded my vehicle from Ramapuram to go to a mansion in Triplicane. When we were moving along Mount road, I heard and saw him wailing in pain, holding his chest. I took him to a nearby clinic.”
But, what he did after that was very kind.
The elderly patient required immediate treatment which cost about Rs 1 lakh but was reduced to Rs 47000 by the hospital authorities. The passenger’s son came from Kolkatta that day itself but did not have enough money for the treatment.
Seeing that, Ravichandran mortgaged his own auto to pay the medical bills of his passenger.
“The passenger’s son had only Rs 15,000 after spending on the flight tickets. Plus, I learnt that they were not affluent. I decided to pledge my autorickshaw, the only property I owned and managed to pay the balance,” he said.
For his heart-warming gesture, Ravichandran was rewarded by the Anna Auto Welfare Trust, an organisation which works to motivate autorickshaw drivers.
“When this kind of good work they do are appreciated, it will be a boost to them to do better. This Trust was formed with such an idea,” said Anil Khicha, founder of the Anna Auto Trust. He was amongst other 16 auto-drivers who were rewarded for their good deeds.The trust has also started a helpline so that passenger can register their good feedbacks.
“If you had a good ride, acknowledge by SMS. The passengers could SMS to 9243000111 their feedback on the experience with a particular driver. They need to type Auto Anna Vehicle No and send the SMS to the number mentioned,” Anil added.