Ambulance service in Dal lake (Photo Credit: News Nation)
While the COVID pandemic has created chaos across the world, it has also pushed people in various areas to take steps for the betterment of the society. Tariq Patloo, a houseboat owner, was diagnosed with COVID 19 virus in August. Adding salt to his injury was that there was not a single Shikara Wala to ferry him to the banks of Dal Lake in fear of possible covid infection. Also after when he became COVID negative, no people were willing to ferry him to his houseboat. Such harsh situation triggered him to start ambulance service for those living on the lake. In this way, world-fame Dal Lake got the first ambulance service on call.
House Boat owner Tariq Patloo says, ‘I was infected with coronavirus in the month of august and no shikara wala was ready to take me. I was at home for 20 days and I had to call my friend to my rescue at that time. my brother used to pick me from ghat. I was very sick during that period and no one brought me to my houseboat. I had to shift to my brother's house.'' Tariq has now taken in upon himself to help people in need. He says no one has ever thought of having any medical facility for the people of the lake. They all had to come on their own to the hospitals and dispensaries. There was no other way. But this ambulance will change it all. Tariq Patloo continues saying, ‘I got the idea that what happened to me should not be repeated to anyone else. I met up with an expert of Dal Committee, Nivedita Haran, who helped me to make this dream come true. It will be a helpline now. We will have a doctor on call and he can visit the patients. And the only thing I require from the government is a doctor and a driver’.
People living on the Lake are extremely happy with the start of this ambulance service. They say it will ease out so many problems people were facing on the lake. It can save the lives of hundreds of people and Tariq's Initiative needs to be applauded. ‘Tariq has started a brilliant service which no one thought of ever. People will gain so much and specially sick people will receive help as soon as possible which never used to happen before’, said Bilal Ahmad,Local Shikara Owner. The ambulance is getting laced with all the basic medical equipment. This will not only be a help to the people living on the lake but also to thousands of tourists visiting the lake.