Kashmir Boatman is Helping Covid Patients Fight Stigma With Floating Ambulance Service On Dal Lake
Srinagar’s Dal Lake To Get First Floating Ambulance Service
Tariq Ahmad Patloo, a local resident, is the man behind the idea to set up a floating ambulance service. Ahmad came up with the idea soon after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The Dal Lake in Srinagar is all set to get its first floating ambulance service.
The famous Dal Lake in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar is getting its first floating ambulance service. Tariq Ahmad Patloo, a houseboat owner, is the man behind the initiative. Tariq Ahmad set up the boat ambulance services a few months ago in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Patloo came up with the idea soon after he tested positive for Covid-19. He said nobody was ready to escort him from his houseboat when he was infected. Ahmad said he faced immense difficulties in going to the hospital.
He then decided to start a boat ambulance service for helping people living in the Dal Lake area.
“When I tested positive few months back, it was a harrowing time for me and my family. Nobody would come forward to help me. Nobody even helped me cross the lake so that I could go to the hospital. That is when I realised how necessary it was for the lake to have a boat which was dedicated for these medical purposes,” said Ahmad.
It took Ahmad around a month to build the boat. He has used traditional material mostly of wood for building the Shikara, which is a light, flat-bottomed boat. Ahmad then equipped the boat will basic medical equipment for treatment.
He said it will be a helpline for those in need of treatment. “It will be like a helpline. There will be a phone number on which people can call and the boat will rush for help. We are fixing a decent motor to this, which will make sure the response time is lesser,” he said.
The ambulance will provide proper healthcare services to people during an emergency. Tariq Ahmad said he heard so many stories where people living around the lake have suffered due to lack of medical facilities.
“As you know, the lake is also a great place for the tourists so this boat will also be helpful to them. If they fall sick they need treatment. Now we can provide them timely treatment through this facility,” Tariq Ahmad added.