'Storkomobile' in Indore ferries pregnant women to hospitals, gratis

  • Saeed Khan, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2014 21:57 IST

If the stork was looking for an assistant he would probably choose Anil Tomar. The 30-something vegetable trader has midwifed scores of deliveries by ferrying expectant mothers to hospitals and nursing homes – gratis.

Tomar says he decided to provide the service after personally observing the difficulties pregnant women had to go through in reaching hospitals at night. "Many women go into labour in the dead of the night when very few auto-rickshaws are available, if at all," he pointed out.

Tomar, a school dropout, says he initially provided the drop service to pregnant women, and their relatives, in a privately-owned vehicle. "I decided to switch to an auto-rickshaw as many people were chary about entering a private vehicle at night," he added.

Tongue-firmly-in-cheek, the samaritan decided to get a registration number ending in '208' a take on the "108" free ambulance service provided by the government.

"I hand out my mobile number to people who I have dropped somewhere as well as family and friends. Anyone who needs my services can call anytime from morning to midnight," said Tomar, a Hindu by birth who professes great faith in the Quran and knows many of its verses by heart.

Thanks to word-of-mouth publicity, demand for his service has grown and the stockily-built man who started with a single auto four years ago now has two vehicles in his fleet.

The service isn't restricted to expectant women alone. The visually-impaired and physically-challenged as well as senior citizens can all get a ride to their destination in Tomar's auto. Free of cost, needless to say.

And the man with a burning zeal to help fellow residents isn't resting on his laurels. He also organises blood donation drives urging friends, family and others he has met to participate. "My contacts in hospitals inform me about requirements for blood and I try to help in any way I can," he added.

But what does he get out of putting in so many hours of effort after, presumably, already having worked long hours in pursuit of a livelihood?
"I live with a motive to serve the society," said Tomar who claims to have set a target of helping five people every day.

"Jab koi dua deta hai to ussey zyaada khushi kisi cheez se nahin hoti. I never pray to God for money or material things. I only ask him for one thing, just let me help as many people as I can."

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