Odisha: Meet Kumar Tandi who ferries COVID patients in his auto-rickshaw for free

Nuapada: The spirit of serving people unconditionally amid pandemic has made Kumar Tandi of Dumerbahal village in Komna block of Odisha’s Nuapada district a lovable figure in the area. Tandi has won hearts of many by ferrying patients, including COVID-19 ones, to hospitals in his auto-rickshaw free of cost.

An HIV patient himself, Tandi has left behind the fear of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus for providing the service. “I can relate to the plight of other patients as I am a patient myself. The COVID-19 patients are facing social stigma and I too had to go through the same when I tested positive for HIV in the past,” said Tandi.

“With non-availability of ambulances in our area, the auto-rickshaw drivers are hesitating to shift those having COVID symptoms to hospitals fearing infection. However, I never refuse to ferry such patients to hospitals. I also ensure all preventive measures while doing the same and sanitise the vehicle after dropping the patients,” he said.

Tandi was earlier a chilli trader and bought the three-wheeler two years ago with an intention of helping patients and road accident victims. Tandi also runs a grocery shop in the locality to meet expenses of his family.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has praised the humanitarian effort of Tandi. Such acts of compassion in these difficult times are encouraging, the CM said.

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