Buddy Cabs is at your services to care for the elderly and disabled. Chandigarh lady gets into action to service...
Many public-friendly services have made their mark in the West. Care giving, disability assistance, disaster-ready training sessions etc. have become quite popular in western countries. India, though is taking baby steps towards achieving an upscaled society, is still lacking in providing people with accessible services. Things are changing with changing times and common people have been coming forward with innovative ideas providing accessible services to the Indian population. When personal experiences trigger a thought, it comes into action for the benefit of others too. That's what the story of Sartaj Lamba tells us. If she has started something that is being appreciated by the old and the disabled especially, then it is out of what she has taken from her experience with her father-in-law.
Has Everything But The Required Caregiving:
Sartaj Lamba belongs to Chandigarh and hails from a well off family. Her father-in-law was diagnosed with the Parkinson's disease in the year 2015. Inspite of having money and enough contacts, despite being able to provide the best healthcare, she couldn't get support when it comes to caregiving and travel. When he was bedridden between 2016 and 2018, he had to be taken to visit hospitals frequently owing to his amnesia. These frequent visits to the hospital became so difficult as there was no feasible way to transport the man without causing him any discomfort. Though they had support staff, they had to face difficulties in providing effective care to her father-in-law. All this had an impact on Sartaj. When he passed away in 2018, Sartaj decided to start the transportation and caregiving more accessible to the elderly and the disabled. She thus laid foundations to Buddy Cabs and Besure Care.
The Background That Helped But Not As A Whole:
Talking about how well equipped they are with things, but still lacked services that would otherwise have helped her father-in-law, she says, "Being an army wife, we had support staff and yet we faced difficulties in providing efficient care for my father-in-law. The experience opened my eyes. Visiting the hospital is only one part of caregiving, we needed an end-to-end service", she mentioned. Once Sartaj faced problem in her family, she looked around and had made some interesting observations. This active member of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) says that there are 13 crore senior citizens and most of them can be categorised into the disabled section owing to limitations to their mobility. Because of limited infrastructure, these people have no other option but depending on their family members to travel even to the hospital for regular visits. When it comes to the matter of patients who have to visit hospitals everyday like those undergoing chemotherapy and dialysis, things become hard as there should be someone accompanying them every time they go to the hospital visits. Thus, Sartaj decided to build her idea on something that would cater to easy mobility and caregiving for such people. Her initiative provides transport facilities along with services that are needed before and after travelling.
The Friendly Model:
Sartaj Lamba has started with 70 vehicles and designed 20 of them in such a way that they cater to the needs of the elderly and the disabled. These vehicles are wheelchair-enabled and have rotating seats, oxygen cylinders, first aid facilities etc. The ex-servicemen, who will be given the required training, act as both drivers and caretakers. Sartaj says that the users can choose both the services and explains how it works saying, "They can book the cab and if they want, the driver can stay around to help them with household errands or daily chores. The elderly don’t have to be at the mercy of others,” says Sartaj. What an awesome idea! The patients need not feel guilty that they are dependent on family members for their work.
Buddy Cabs also provides facility wherein users can book cabs for availing long distance intet-city or inter-state services. "This service is for the disabled especially who find it hard to travel in trains, buses or flights", she mentions. Buddy Cabs also collaborated with hospitals like Fortis, where the cabs are parked in the hospital premises and users can also book doctor appointments and schedule caretaker services through cabs. So, the long wait to meet the doctor is eliminated. In the past two years, the organization has catered to around 2,000 customers and most of them opted for the service more than once. The service is currently active in several cities including Delhi, Mohali, Ambala, Chandigarh, Faridabad, Gurugram and Noida.
Happy Customers And Selfless Services:
One of the users, Surinder Matharoo, who availed the services of Buddy Cabs and Besure Care, when he underwent a knee operation said, “I took their service post the operation. They sent a caretaker home for all my needs — right from waking me up on time, taking my meds to giving massages. It is not easy to find a caretaker who is attentive, gentle and good at what they do but Sartaj’s organisation was commendable.” Her voice reveals all the satisfaction and happiness about Sartaj's organization. During the covid pandemic, Sartaj converted the cabs into emergency service and transported patients to the hospitals. She also started a small COVID-19 centre with 25 beds in association with the municipal administration.
Plans Of Expanding:
As the reviews and responses are quite good and motivating, Sartaj is now aiming to take this further making it a pan India project. She is also looking forward to hire women can drivers and start services for pregnant women and new mothers.
What an idea Madam Ji! What was born out of a personal loss is now helping others by bringing comfort and joy in their lives. Hats off to the lady whose one idea changed the lives of many for good.
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