EXCLUSIVE: 25-year-old school van driver offers free rides to people for COVID testing

By FrontierManipur | Published On 15th May, 2021, 11:29 GMT+0530

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Prakash Leitanthem

Prakash Leitanthem of Waiton Makha Leikai, Imphal East District, has been ferrying those who need to undergo COVID testing as detected through contract tracing.

By Tanoranjan Naorem

As the number of COVID-19 positive cases increases, so is the number of containment zones in different parts of the state. The immediate family members of those tested positive and those who came in contact also undergo COVID testing after some days. Amidst the prevailing situations some are facing problems of transportation to go to the testing sites.

A youth who used to ferry schoolchildren in his van has volunteered to take these people for COVID testing during this difficult time.

Prakash Leitanthem (25) of Waiton Makha Leikai, Imphal East District, son of late Leitanthem Dilla Singh, has been ferrying those who need to undergo the testing as detected through contract tracing from Waiton Gram Panchayat area.

After his two elder sisters got married, Prakash has been living with her mother, Leitanthem (O) Tombisana Devi.

Speaking to TFM, the 25-year-old youth said that he has been providing van service for Tiny Tots’ School since 2014. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state in early part of 2020, he has not been able to provide the service of ferrying schoolchildren.

As the number of positive people living under Waiton Gram Panchayat increased, the number of containment zones also increased. Many who came in contact faced lots of problems as people are unwilling to take them to testing centres.

Seeing this, Prakash said that he volunteered to take them, especially people from Waiton Gram Panchayat, in his van free of cost. He started his service from May 12.

“I may not be able to ferry people from far flung places as my economic condition is not so sound. But I will continue it to my best level,” he said and added that if there are any positive people who need a ride to a hospital or a COVID care centre, he will help them as well.

Prakash further said that many, including Waiton Gram Panchayat pradhan Pukhrambam Surbala, help him with monetary support amongst others. Other essential items and foods are also being donated by many, he said and added that he is able to provide the service due to the help of these people.

He also appealed to the people to not look down upon those who tested positive for COVID-19 and urged everyone to follow the SOP provided by the authority.

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