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Friday, 13 January 2017

Shuttle service to medical centres free of charge to the sick and infirm, regardless of colour, creed or standing.by young entrepreneur

One-of-a-kind businessman

THE STAR
     
    YOUNG entrepreneur, Sashitharan Maraighanasambanthan, is rising above the racial divide to offer shuttle service to medical centres free of charge to the sick and infirm, regardless of colour, creed or standing.
    Thanks to his noble efforts, more than 100 patients from Klang and Shah Alam are now enjoying free transport when going for dialysis, appointments and check-ups.
    The 35-year-old managing director of Sri Sairam Enterprise Sdn Bhd said it had been six months since he started shuttling people above 60 years old who needed to go for their medical appointments.
    The entrepreneur, who hails from Port Klang, said in the beginning he catered only to the elderly who patronised government hospitals. Later on, he decided to expand the service to dialysis patients as well.
    “We started by distributing application forms on the free transport service to patients at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (TAR) in Klang, and the service took off with about 10 patients.
    “The number has increased to 110 now and a large number of them are made up of dialysis patients who have to make three visits every week compared to only one visit in three months for medical check-ups,” said the MIC Bandar Botanic branch chairman.
    Kupusamy getting up from his wheelchair as his wife M. Lucia and Chandrasegaran wait to assist him into the van.
    Sashitharan said the idea to provide the transport service came about after he realised that many senior citizens needed to go to the hospital for check-ups but faced problems getting there.
    “They find it difficult to keep to their appointments because their children are working and it is impossible for them to take leave every time to take their parents there,” he said.
    Sashitaran added that he wanted all those who were in need to benefit from the service regardless of their background.
    “I am happy to see Malaysians of all races benefiting from the free service,” he said.
    Sashitharan, whose company supplies foreign labour, said he invested in a new 10-seater van and hired a driver to provide the service.
    He said he had also stationed another employee at TAR Hospital to promote the service.
    “I spend RM8,000 a month to pay the instalment for the van, wages, petrol and maintenance,” he said, adding that his expenses had almost doubled with the introduction of a second van offered to him by a non-governmental organisation.
    Besides keeping a data base on the patients he ferried, Sashitaran said, he also maintained a personal file with records of visits and check-ups at the dialysis centres and hospitals.
    Anapurni getting a hand from Chandrasegaran as she gets down from the van for her dialysis session.
    “One of my staff has volunteered to carry out the task of maintaining files and records of the patients,” he said.
    According to Sashitharan, he had received a lot of positive feedback from the public and was happy to be able to offer the service.
    Former taxi driver K. Chandrasegaran, 33, who drives the van, said his day would start at 4.45am daily and he often returned home at 9.30pm after taking the last patient home. He has a full daily schedule.
    Chandrasegaran would pick up the patients from their homes from 5am onwards and drop them off at a dialysis centre at Bandar Baru Klang by 6am.
    “I have to get the second batch of patients to another centre at about 10am, take the first batch of patients home from the centre at 11am, and then pick up the third batch for their treatment at Taman Desa Klang at 4pm,” he said.
    This last group would be done and waiting for him by 8.30pm.
    Chandrasegaran said his passengers came from all over Klang, including Kapar and Meru, but some lived as far away as Kota Kemuning in Shah Alam.
    He said he was committed to his job and did not want the patients to miss their appointments.
    “I keep strictly to the schedule because I am dealing with old patients who need to be on time for their treatment.
    The 10-seater van used for the free shuttle service provides comfort to the patients.
    “I also help them to get into and out of the van as some of them are very old and cannot walk too long,” said Chandrasegaran, adding that it was a satisfying experience to be able to help them.
    Ooi Hooi Khim, 64, from Taman Berkeley, said she had been using the free transport for six months to get to a private hospital not far from her home.
    Prior to the free transport service, she would take a cab.
    V. Anapurni, 66, from Kampung Jawa Klang, who goes for dialysis at Taman Desa Klang, said she used to spend RM450 a month on taxi.
    “I am very happy with the service, and I haven’t missed my appointments since I started using the van service two months ago,” said Anapurni, who has been a dialysis patient for six years.
    K. Kupusamay, 69, from Taman Gembira, said he used to pay RM40 for each trip to the dialysis centre until he heard about the shuttle service.
    “The service is free and we get there right on time,” he said.
    T. Nithianandan, 56, from Kota Kemuning, said he had been using the transport service for the past six months to get to the dialysis centre at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) in Taman Desa Klang.
    “I am very grateful for the service offered to me and other patients,” he said, adding that the van driver had been very helpful.
    Those in the areas mentioned who require free transport can contact 03-288 2174 for details.

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