Working for the poor, the downtrodden, the needy and the helpless is more than just a hobby for Sd. Bhupinder Singh Kohli from Nerul, (Navi Mumbai, India). It is a daily ritual. Apart from his busy schedule as an employee of the State Bank of India at CBD Belapur , Mr. Kohli is immersed in social work and constantly attempts to find solutions to the problems of the helpless in his own unique ways.
Kohli's latest idea has been to convert his own Santro Car to a vehicle for people in distress. Explains Kohli, "Four months back, I happened to see an accident near Uran Phata at around 7pm. The victim was fatally wounded but he could reach the hospital only after precious time had lapsed, for want of timely ambulance services. This incident made me think of alternative sources to help people in distress. And that very night, I realised that I had one of these sources with me. I could help with my new car which I’d been using sparingly. I decided to use the car in emergencies for shifting patients from or to hospitals, free of cost." The very next day, Kohli sprung into action and inscribed ‘FREE HOSPITAL SERVICE WITHIN NAVI MUMBAI DURING THE NIGHT’ on his car. During the next three months, he helped seven patients to reach the hospital during medical emergencies.
As appreciation for his dedication, the local Gurudwara presented Kohli with a second hand ambulance. "Though my car would serve the purpose of dropping patients to the hospital, proper medical equipment is not available inside the car. Now, with the ambulance service available, I’m sure more lives will be saved. This ambulance service too comes at no cost," he reveals.This devout Sikh has done seven first aid courses in various hospitals across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Says Kohli, "When I was studying, I happened to see many rich patients dumping expensive medicines, which were not past their expiry date, after they recovered from their illness. These medicines would have otherwise served poor patients." From then on, Kohli started collecting unused and un-expired medicines as well as free samples given by doctors. The medicines collected thus were sent to charitable dispensaries.
Kohli also collects used equipments like walking sticks, saline stands and oxygen cylinders, among others, sterilises them, and gives them to poor patients. He also collects old and usable clothes, utensils, reading materials and toys for needy people in villages. The jewel in the crown of Kohli’s social work is his mammoth compilation of a computerised Blood Group Directory that has a list of around 4,800 donors’ names and addresses, collected individually. This social worker, who is responsible for organising many medical camps, is also a member of Civil Defence, Red Cross Society and Traffic Wardens.