Kolkata: doctor drives 540km to drop 8-year-old patient, kin home
Times of India:  A doctor at SSKM hospital helped a patient reach her home 270km away from the city during lockdown by driving the eight-year-old girl himself.
 While leaving the hospital on March 25, Bablu Sardar, an anaesthetist, had spotted a family bargaining with ambulance drivers to drive them home. But the fare the drivers were demanding was beyond Rajesh Baskey, who works as a daily labourer in a stone crushing unit in Birbhum.
 Sardar was moved by the appalling condition of the family who came for the treatment of their eight-year-old daughter Angela who had an intestinal obstruction. After being treated, she was discharged from the hospital on March 23.
 However, due to the lockdown, the family failed to take her home and had been on the hospital campus for over 48 hours. “She was released from the hospital on March 23, but it was already the night of March 25 and they couldn’t go home. So I decided to help them, though Angela was not my patient. I could understand that due to lack of money the family was unable to reach home.
Though her parents were with her at the hospital, she had a younger sister alone at home. Baskey told me that a week ago, two of his brothers had died. I could understand the condition of the family. Many of the ambulance drivers were charging an exorbitant fee — ranging between Rs 13,000 to Rs 14,000 — which the family could not afford,” Sardar said.
The doctor said that since he had duty from 10am the next day, he decided to drive them home without going to have his dinner. “We started at 9pm from SSKM Hospital and reached Sulunga, which is exactly 270km away, around 3am. We only had to face police interception at Illambazar, where I narrated the story and there was no trouble on the way,” said Sardar, who drove the family to the village close to the Jharkhand border.
“I was earlier posted in Dubrajpur in Birbhum and knew a part of the road. But after crossing Illambazar, it was a difficult task charting out the route through the villages. I had to drive around 15km in from the state highway. The family is so poor that they could not even offer me a cup of tea, However, I felt elated seeing the smile on the face of little Angela when she finally got home to be with her sister,” Sardar said.
Driving back, he managed to attend duty again at 10am. “It took nearly 30 litres of petrol to help the family, for which I paid,” the doctor said, adding that he has been flooded with congratulatory messages after he posted about the incident on social media. Baskey, however, said the family was indebted to Sardar. “He is like God to us,” the daily labourer said.