A Shikara- A life saver

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world" 

- Anne frank

Tariq Ahmed Patloo, a 50-year-old Srinagar native, tested positive for covid-19 in August 2020. Because there was so much misinformation about the virus at the time, no one offered to help him, notably in the area cut off from the mainland. As a result, his family members were also tormented. The reality remained that there was much too much terror amongst the people.

Tariq then called his brother, who lives in a different part of Srinagar, and asked him to come and take him to the hospital. He was in the hospital for almost two weeks and kept worrying about what he could do to change the situation.

He wanted to share this idea with someone in authority, so he contacted Dr. Niveditha P Haran, a member of the dal lake expert committee. “I knew her because of my social work. She also runs a trust called Satya Rekha, and I got some financial help from them to start work on the Shikara ambulance,” he explains.

Tariq spent nearly a month designing this ambulance. The purpose of this Shikara was unique and thoughtful, which is why the implementation took a little longer. An ambulance Shikara has twice the width of a regular Shikara. It needed to be large enough to accommodate emergency supplies, the patient, and their families. Tariq said that there was enough room on the Shikara for 12 people. A motor had already been installed to ensure that the ambulance moved quickly.

This man created an ambulance that no one has imagined. His concept was simple: provide an immediate response when a call came in. They have a doctor and a medical staff member with them who would provide urgent medical treatment if necessary. The wonderful thing is that this was not limited to Covid patients. What greater illustration of the adage "actions speak louder than words"?

“Dal dwellers need this Shikara the most, who knows it better than me? I wish no one goes through what I did”- Tariq.

“It’s the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.” 

                                    -Steve Jobs.

Story curated by Aastha



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