There are a lot of people who encounter tragedy in their lives and allow it to break them. Others, like this man, pick up the pieces and forge a new life purpose for themselves.
“My wife had suffered from a miscarriage, when one night she felt a sudden pain in her abdomen. At that time of the night, no cab stopped for us and that process frustrated me. I gave up my career as an engineer at Larsen and Toubro and began to drive a taxi, free of cost for anyone who needs to get to the hospital. I earn 10,000 rupees a month from general passengers, but my aim is to help those in need at any hour of the day. Whoever sits in my cab gets my card and can contact me even at 3 in the morning with an emergency and I will take them to their destination.
An incident that pushes me to keep doing this service is one that happened a few months ago. At around 2 in the morning, I saw 2 men on the road frantically waving for a cab. I obviously stopped for them and realized that they had a woman with them who had suffered 75% burns to her body. Many cab drivers before me had refused to take her in their vehicles because of this and that made my heart sink. I gave them a blanket which I keep in my car, asked them to cover her and drove like a maniac to get her to the nearest hospital. For the next few days, I kept checking to know if she had survived — and by God’s grace, she did. We are friends now, and she still thanks me for that night.
Whether the 26th July floods, or the night of 26/11, I have made sure to reach locations where people need me. I believe that everything is not about money. I was earning 65,000 at my previous job, but I’ve never been happier than I am today.
I am 74 years old, can speak 11 languages, have children who work in private equity firms and have the qualification to be an advanced engineer…but the highlight of my life is that until today I have transported more than 500 emergency cases to the hospital and tried my best to atleast give them a chance to survive. For that, if I am forever called an ordinary taxi driver — I gladly and proudly accept.” – Vijay Tharkur
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