Bengaluru: Hotelier ferries elders to vax sites for free | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Basavanagudi resident Chandramma C was allotted a slot for vaccination on June 3. But the family had no clue how to take the 76-year-old woman to the vaccination site 2km from their house given lockdown restrictions, her daughter Ramya Venukumar said.
On social media, Ramya found hotelier Satish Ural’s free autorickshaw ride initiative to ferry the elderly and specially abled to vaccination sites in Basavanagudi ward. “We took my mother in an autorickshaw to the vaccination site and brought her back. They were so patient with senior citizens, did not make an issue if they had to wait,” Ramya said.
Chandramma is among 600-odd beneficiaries in Basavanagudi. The six autorickshaws deployed by Ural picks people from their doorstep, drops them to vaccination sites and take them back home after they’re jabbed. They also take home those stranded at vaccination sites Anil Kumar, a resident of Thyagaraja Nagar, said he found taking his parents, both over 70 years, to the vaccination site a challenge.
“Ural’s autorickshaws helped me take them to the hospital. He’s doing good work and chosen the right age group to help,” he added.
Ural said when he planned the initiative it was mainly for women over 60 years and the specially abled but later extended it to all the elderly. “Sometimes, people get dropped to the vaccine site but no one picks them up. We drop them back home,” he added.
“We had distributed ration kits to over 400 auto drivers during the first wave. I got in touch with them during the second wave and they were more than willing to help,” he said.
He pays the drivers Rs 300 for two hours and Rs 500 for three hours of their service. “This matters a lot during this situation. However, two of auto drivers refused to take any pay and only ask for fuel money,” he added.
Ganesha B, a driver volunteering with Ural, said, “During the first lockdown, the plight of auto drivers was really bad. Satish helped us a lot then. Now that we’re in a slightly better position, I should return the favour and not put a price tag on it.”
Ural had served meals during the first lockdown and this time, he serves 600 meals a day to the needy. He also distributes medicines to Covid-19 positive patients in an initiative named after his idol, Sandalwood star Puneeth Rajkumar.
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Sagar Biswas

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