The septuagenarian, who graduated in 1964, took to driving an autorickshaw – a three-wheeled passenger vehicle, in Delhi for his livelihood. Since that time, he has been helping people in need on the streets. Now it is a full-time passion for him, and he does it free of charge.
“I have helped hundreds of accident victims on the roads, and have taken them to the nearest hospitals,” he told Sputnik.
Singh patrols accident-prone areas and when he comes across a victim who needs urgent attention, he says “I rush the accident victim to the nearest hospital.”
The Good Samaritan also dispenses Ayurvedic medicines in emergencies. He says, he is trained in Ayurveda and gives medicines to anyone who needs them, free of cost to those who cannot afford to pay. “But some people do pay me for the medicines,” he said.
Harjinder Singh was given a certificate of commendation by the Delhi Police and later made a Traffic Warden, by then Chief of Delhi Traffic Kiran Bedi, currently Lieutenant Governor of the centrally administered enclave of Puducherry. Singh said, even now, Bedi stops by his autorickshaw, if she comes across him, and inquires about his welfare and the welfare of his family.
Sputnik: Doesn’t your family advise you not to drive an autorickshaw on the crowded Delhi streets?
Harjinder Singh: My son has been prodding me to stop driving. But I told him if I drive, I will remain healthy. Secondly, I don’t need to ask for money for my day-to-day expenses. So they have accepted my wishes and fully cooperate with me.
On social media, many people have lauded his efforts, hailing him as a “true hero”.
Meet auto driver Harjinder Singh from #Delhi, who turns his auto into an ambulance to save lives of accident victims.— Apolina De (@apolina_de) July 9, 2019
While there are so many people in this world who don't give way to ambulances, Mr. Singh’s act of kindness has saved hundreds of lives in times of emergency. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AVC1mdcHdD
Such kind of heroes need to be nominated to people's Padma awards— AnanthN6000 🇮🇳 🕉️ (@UgraKesari) July 9, 2019
These are people who give us inspiration, these are the people who tell us that the society has not turned that bad we think it has, these are the people who give us hope... Salute to you, sir and thanks to you for sharing this...— Sayan Dey (@sayan_dey) July 10, 2019
According to Delhi Traffic Police, over 1600 persons were killed on the roads of the national capital, while about 5800 were injured in 2018.
The Geneva-based International Road Federation (IRF) said, annually about 147,000 people die on roads in India, which accounts for 11% of global road accident fatalities. The Delhi Police have identified several spots in the capital, which are ‘blackspots’ where accidents frequently occur.