Human life is the most valuable of all and saving one is indeed a noble cause, especially under extreme circumstances and difficult conditions of the far-flung, remote and border areas of Kashmir. A number of villages located in the Machhal Sector are deprived of basic amenities including medical facilities and frequently remain cut off from the rest of the region for 5 to 6 months annually during winters due to heavy snowfall.
In order to help the villagers overcome this problem, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) along with Gauri Foundation (NGO), facilitated by the Indian Army have established a hospital in Machhal, equipped with an ICU Ambulance, which has proved to be the saviour for critical medical cases on three different occasions within a fortnight by conducting speedy evacuation to Kupwara over a distance of 60 km under extremely challenging road and weather conditions.
The ambulance has been the difference between life and death for Gulam Mohammad Shah, aged 80 years, who suffered severe chest pain and breathlessness and was in critical condition and was safely evacuated despite very heavy snowfall in early January 2022 in the ICU Ambulance, with the assistance of Indian Army, to Primary Health Centre, Kupwara, where his life was saved by the doctors.
Similarly, on 15 January, one-year-old Shakib Khan, suffering from a breathing disorder, was saved by the ICU ambulance, after the infant was stabilized by the Army Medical Staff. In the third case, on 27 January, the ambulance responded to an SOS call from Village Sarpanch, Machhal that Hafiza Begum, age 48 years who has been battling a cardiac ailment for the last three years, has suffered a heart attack and required immediate medical attention to save her life. The ICU Ambulance despite nearly 18 inches of snow and zero visibility, evacuated Hafiza Begum to Kupwara, resulting in saving her precious life.
The efforts made by the IOC and Gauri Foundation in conjunction with the Indian Army is proving to be a “Ray of Hope” for the people of Machhal, a sentiment echoed by the locals as well. Habibullah Harry, Sarpanch of Machhal said “For the first time in history, Machhal has access to advanced medical care.” ”The people feel safe and secure during winters in their villages due to availability of the ICU Ambulance”, says Sher Mohd Khan, resident of Pushwari. The grateful mother of young Shakib further says, “The efforts by the Indian Army and NGO are like blessings from the “ALLAH”, which saved the life of my son”.
Even as you read this, the ICU ambulance, the saviour lifeline of Machhal is on its way to Kupwara on yet another life-saving journey. Republic World