“The train will be arriving by evening. Free body check up! Free surgery! Jeevan Rekha Express will be arriving by evening.”
This is a common announcement in a remote rural Indian village whenever Lifeline Express arrives in their city. Lifeline Express or Jeevan Rekha Express is world’s first hospital train started in the year 1991 in collaboration between Railways, Health Ministry of India and Impact UK organization.
Patients & Ailments Treated By Jeevan Rekha Express
It is a pleasant fact that the train has served 90,00,000 patients and has done around 1,00,000 successful surgeries. It visits mostly rural parts of India where health care facilities are not easily available.
Jeevan Rekha Express travels across the rural areas and stays in one particular village for 20-25 days providing checkups and surgeries for free to the patients. This train provides treatment for orthopedic surgeries, ophthalmology procedures, ear surgeries, plastic surgery for cleft lip, epilepsy, nutritional assessment and many other health awareness programs. It also provides training to medical and health professionals.
Jeevan Rekha Express has everything which a modern hospital in urban city would have. AC coach, modern surgical operation theatre, storage for medical supplies and accommodation for the staff. It is well equipped with CCTV cameras, Laboratory, X-ray unit and an auditorium with LCD display unit.
On an average around 5000 patients register for treatment out of which 90% are treated free of cost whereas rest are referred to a nearby hospital. The cost of each project comes around 4 Million INR which is paid by single sponsor which covers costs of medicines, volunteer’s doctors travel, accommodation costs, ambulances, fuel and patient’s food and lodging.
How did it begin?
Credit for Jeevan Rekha Express goes to Zelma Lazarus who brought this concept to india. Today the train has a 100% success rate. It all started when she was on a flight and she happened to discuss the concept with her co passenger. After a year or so that co passenger contacted her and sent her the money for the project! He also narrated the story behind how he raised the money along with her wife, cycling around the world. Strange situations and cases were experienced around this magical journey.
How Did It Help?
Thanks to Jeevan Rekha Express, villagers are much more aware about health concerns. It is backed up by sponsor’s money per project. After the success of the Jeevan Rekha Express, many replicas are made and are running successfully in China and Africa. In Bangladesh there is a river boat instead of train.
Jeevan Rekha Express is a big success due to the immense support from the Railways Ministry and Health Ministry of India. Also the sponsors are the life line for this train. If you wish to be a part of this train as a volunteer or would like to sponsor or donate some amount, then you can visit their website impactindia.org. Also the information about where the train is currently and it’s future routes can be traced from the website.
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