Vijayawada: The sarpanch of Ambapuram in rural Andhra Pradesh, in a noble gesture, purchased an ambulance worth Rs 4 lakh with his own money to help people in his village and surrounding areas during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The sarpanch Gandikota Sitaiah said that he was concerned with the plight of people who faced difficulties when they had to hail ambulances to ferry patients to hospitals. There were also the high costs to hiring an ambulance with people having to pay rates as high as Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 for the service.
Sitaiah, who recently got elected as a Sarpanch said that the ambulance he purchased for the village will providing free service to those who cannot afford to avail of its services.
“During the second wave, we noticed the problems due to lack of ambulances. Whenever any villager called to request an ambulance by calling 108 number they found that the ambulance would often arrive late or sometimes not turn up. Also the services of an ambulance range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000, even for a kilometer or two,” the sarpanch said.
Sitaiah further said that during times of emergencies he had even hired an autorickshaw of used his personal car to ferry people to the hospital. “However, we were unable to provide them with oxygen in the car or auto-rickshaw,” he said.
“On giving the situation further thought, I decided to buy an ambulance as it was a prevailing problem. It cost me Rs 4 lakh,” Gandikota Sitaiah said.
According to him, the number of Covid-19 cases in his village range from 70-100.
The sarpanch says he has been serving people for a long time.
“During lockdown in the first wave of Covid-19, my team and I went door to door in the Ambapuram village to enquire about people’s needs. They were unable to procure ration. So we distributed 25 kg rice bags, vegetables, and essential commodities.”
At times when whole families were tested positive for the virus, and no one could prepare meals, we helped, he said.
“We serve food to families from the day they contract the virus till the time their reports are negative. We prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for those 70-100 persons per day at our office,” said Sitaiah.
Meanwhile, villagers of Ambapuram lauded the efforts of the sarpanch. Many youngsters of the village have voluntarily taken part in the welfare service activities of Sitaiah.
A resident of Ambapuram, Mohammad Farooq said, “Sitaiah is a great man. He has been of immense help for a long time. As many as 1200 houses were provided with 25 kg of rice along with other rations. Now he is serving us with ambulance service. He also provides the villagers with medicine kits.”
Speaking highly of sarpanch Sitaiah, another Ambapuram villager, Vasant Kumar, narrated the list of services that the former has provided selflessly so far.
“I am really happy for the presence of a man like Sitaiah. He not only helps the people of Ambapuram but also nearby villages. Now people also know that only he can be of some help in such distress times,” said Kumar.
The official data released by the Union Health Ministry stated that Andhra Pradesh has 1,53,795 active Covid-19 cases. (ANI)