Mumbai, Jul 16: Lifeline Express, touted to be the world's first hospital-train, started in 1991 to provide medical aid and relief to far-flung and inaccessible areas, today completed 25 years of its operation.
The train, a flagship project of Impact India Foundation and the Indian Railways, has travelled the length and breadth of the country, the Foundation's Trustee and Chairman Ramesh Sarin said here.
"It has provided medical aid to over a million patients and intends to carry on its legacy for years to come," he added.
The train is equipped with a state-of-the-art operation theatre and has surgeons on board who have performed surgeries on cleft lips and polio affected limbs, Sarin said, adding, "Cataract removals have been done apart from providing healthcare facilities in rural areas."
"Presently, we have only one such train hospital, but now time has come when each state must have such a hospital. It is very encouraging that the Maharashtra government has shown its intention to get a separate train for its citizens," he said.
The train does not have its own blood bank which hinders its medical operations a bit, but the administration is contemplating to have a tie-up with local blood banks, he said.
Sarin claimed in the last 25 years, the Foundation has in the various states carried out 173 projects sponsored by both private and public organisations.
Hailing the Foundation's efforts, General Manager of Central and Western Railway G C Agrawal said the train has seamlessly offered its services which has brought a ray of hope among the people.