‘Jugaad Ambulance’- an innovative initiative by Pune auto-drivers to aid Covid patients

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Published by Tapasya Iyer on 14 May 2021

The scarcity of oxygen beds, ambulances and other health care services is creating a major hurdle in the treatment of Covid-19 patients around India. The second wave has brought with it irreparable loses to the health care system. Maharashtra is among the top 5 states to be most infected by the pandemic. In such tough time, the auto-drivers in Pune have come together to launch ‘Jugaad Ambulance’, on Thursday.

Jugaad Ambulance is started by a Pune based Doctor, Keshav Kshirsagar. Under this creative initiative, the auto-drivers ferry the covid-19 patients to the hospitals in the absence of ambulance services. The auto has an attached oxygen cylinder to help the patients while they are waiting to be admitted.

“In the present situation, there has been a lot of pressure on the health care system. These auto-drivers were already ferrying patients free of cost. So, we though of attaching O2 to the autos to make the journey easier. These oxygen can last for around 6 to 7 hours,” said Dr. Keshav to ANI.

Started with 3 autos, there are around 100 autos converted to Jugaad ambulances in the recent days. There are specific helpline number to contact these Jugaad ambulances. The auto drivers are trained by the doctors on how to give oxygen and start the process for the patients. The cost of these autos is nominal. It is around Rs.100 for half an hour for ferry and Rs.120 for the O2 mask. “Jiske pass paise nai hai unko hum free me seva dete hai,” (We offer our service for free if a patient doesn’t have money) said an auto-driver.

To view the video by The Hindustan Times giving more inside view of Jugaad Ambulance, click here.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has reported over 52 lakh cases and 78,007 deaths since March 2020. However, looking at the positive side, the recovery rate has improved in the last few days especially in Mumbai and Pune district.

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