Chennai

Free autorickshaw service for COVID-19 tests and vaccination in Triplicane

V. Balaji alias ‘Auto’ Balaji, 50, an autorickshaw driver, has been going out of his way to help COVID-19 patients in Triplicane. Not only does he ferry poor patients free of cost but also provides grocery and other essentials at the door step of those on home quarantine.

“In the last one year, 90% of the passengers who boarded my vehicle were COVID-19 positive patients. Whenever someone boards my vehicle, I check if he/she is wearing a mask. If they are not then I give them a spare mask and I keep a good number of masks for this purpose. Some COVID-19 patients will not have anyone to help them get grocery and vegetables. I deliver them and do some service. I sanitise the vehicle after every trip to keep my passengers safe,” he said.

Now Mr. Balaji and another autorickshaw driver have been roped in by Srinivasa Young Men’s Association (SYMA) for their free autorickshaw service to ferry residents of Triplicane for vaccination, COVID-19 test and hospitalization and discharge. The drivers wear all safety gear while transporting the patients.

“The service, mooted by our president T.A. Sampath Kumar, started from Tuesday and on the first day 11 passengers were ferried. We started this initiative as it is hard to get transport during the lockdown and not everyone will have a vehicle at home,” said T.J. Ramani, one of founders of SYMA and also a committee member.

SYMA was started in 1977 and has been serving people in different ways. “Those who want to avail this free service can contact our medical centre at 28445050 between 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Our centre is located at 37, Car Street Triplicane,” Mr. Ramani said.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 11:02:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/free-autorickshaw-service-for-covid-19-tests-and-vaccination-in-triplicane/article34546012.ece

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