The initiative is now about to be launched in a few days.
To complete his water ambulance, he also needs to get basic equipment on board. (Image: IE)
Dal Lake: Srinagar’s Dal Lake to get its own water ambulance! A few months ago, Dal’s ‘Sea Palace’ owner Tariq Ahmad Patloo had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. While confined to the hospital bed, the 51-year-old came up with the idea of beginning a ‘Shikara ambulance’ service, according to a report in IE. This ambulance will serve the people residing around the Dal Lake.
The inspiration came to Patloo when he found that he had COVID-19 and needed to cross the lake to reach the hospital. However, he faced difficulty in finding someone who would row him to the other side due to the fear of contracting the virus, and the same remained the situation after he was discharged and needed to get back home.
Once discharged he got to work bringing his idea of a water ambulance to life, and the initiative is now about to be launched in a few days. He also has his future plans laid out before him – setting up a “mini-hospital” inside a houseboat for even better services.
Sure of his idea to launch a water ambulance, Patloo said that he approached an NGO called Satya Rekha Trust, from where he was assured of all the financial support he would need. Patloo still had challenges, though. He had no knowledge about healthcare. To change that, he first searched the internet and looked up designs. All of them were costly, however, so he chose to use a Shikara, the traditional boat in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Shikara he made was wide and made of iron, plastic, aluminium and wood, so that it would be light as well as water proof. The ambulance has also been fitted with an engine in it.
Patloo has given the credit for being able to realise his dream to his family and his friend Riyaz Ahmad. The report stated that his 7-year-old daughter Jannat had also been praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two years ago because of her initiative and efforts to clean the Dal Lake.
To complete his water ambulance, he also needs to get basic equipment on board. He also expressed his wish to have a nurse or a doctor stationed on the ambulance. For these requirements, he said he was in touch with a few doctors as well as the government.