Made In India, By Indians – World's First Hospital Train

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The Lifeline Express or the 'Jeevan Rekha Express' is the first ever 'Hospital On Rails' in the world and uses the country's railway network of over 1.15 lakh kilometers to bring medical care to the people of rural India.

Known as the 'Magic Train of India', the train has helped over 10,00,000 rural poor across the nation in almost 25 years of travelling around the nation's railway tracks.

Read on to see how this Magical train has been changing life across the nation. 

A Lifeline Since 1991

The Lifeline Express is the World's First ever permanent Hospital Train. It was first established in July 16, 1991 and was later expanded to five coaches in 2007.

Helping Reduce Disabilities In India

The train is operated by Impact India Foundation, a NGO that leads the fight to prevent disabilities, and the Indian Railways who provide the coaches, the locomotive and the six member permanent crew, who call the train home.

A Volunteer Express

n all, the train has served 10,00,000 poor in rural India, restoring sight, movement, hearing and correction of cleft lips with dental and neurological treatment and more, completely free of cost in over 24 years.

The medical treatment and operations are done by groups of Doctors from across the nation who volunteer their time for the train.

A Full-Fledged Hospital On Rails

The train consists of five coaches out of which two are operation theaters while one houses the offices and sterilization autoclave for the medical equipment.

Additionally, the train has an ophthalmologic testing room, a dental unit, a laboratory, an X-ray unit and an auditorium with a large LCD display unit.

Two Operation Theatres

The first operation theatre(OT) has three operating tables and can act as standalone unit for the train while the second OT coach can be detached and used for disaster relief operations as well.

A Success Story Copied By The World

The success of the Indian Lifeline express in India has seen other countries set up similar projects in China, Central Africa as well as river boat hospitals in Bangladesh and Cambodia.

Looking To Expand

Impact India Foundation is currently looking to expand the train by 2 more coaches and has launched an appeal online for the same.

Read more on: #off beat
Story first published: Friday, April 22, 2016, 15:47 [IST]
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