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Unsung Hero:Engineer in the day, driver in the night

Srinagar, Mar 24:  Every day when the clock strikes 6 pm, 31-year-old engineer Harminder Pal Singh parks his brand new car outside his home at Gameraj village in Tral area.   From the evening, he doubles-up as a driver to ferry the patients and people in distress to hospitals and other destinations.

Soon after the government announced restrictions in the valley, Harminder took no time to upload his contact number with a small description on Facebook to help the people in distress.  

“I am offering my personal vehicle to the service of any citizen of Tral, who can’t afford to hire a car or cab at the time of emergency. In this connection, I will be offering my service during late hours as I am available only after 6 pm onwards,” reads his post on social networking site Facebook.

The idea came to his mind after seeing people struggling to manage a vehicle when the government announced lockdown given the coronavirus pandemic.

 “The government has announced lockdown till March 31 and I know how many problems people face in my area. So, I have decided to keep my vehicle available for people especially for patients and pregnant ladies, who require medical help,” he said.

Harminder said many people belonging to the Gujjar community live on high altitude areas who have no access to facilities including transport.

“We have been allotted special passes since the electricity department is declared as an essential service by the government. I can make use of my pass and help people to reach hospitals and other health centers anytime from 6 pm till morning,” he said.

 Harminder said he is constantly getting distress calls from various parts of the country. “I feel sad that I can’t help them. I am trying to help people of my area at least,” he said.

The 31-year-old engineer has become a role model in the area and encouraged others to help people. “Some people approached me and expressed their desire to chip in too. I have got calls from people who offered their vehicles for this endeavor. I am not associated with any NGO. I am doing it on a humanitarian basis,” he said.