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Sector South Public Ambulance Service
(Kirtipur Ambulance- Operated by Nayabazar Club)

- Narayan Maharjan

Introduction

In 1993, the Kirtipur area, although only 7/8 km from the midpoint of Kathmandu with a population 40,000 had no notable health facility. There was only a government health post at Layaku VDC (Village Development Committee), Plan International’s run health post at Champadevi VDC, Paropkar at Layeku VDC and a Red Cross facility at Paliphal Health Service. There was also a health centre in Tribhuban University which was not open to the public. There were also some private medical clinics providing services in the morning and evening.
People living in Kirtipur had to go to Kathmandu or Patan hospitals for emergency treatment and accidents.  However there was not effective transportation to go and back from the hospitals.
In 1994 the Nayabazar Club, which had been actively involved for some 20 years in social welfare and in the sports sector established a public ambulance service covering the southern part of Kathmandu in order to provide emergency service to the Kirtipur area. This service is of the people, by the people and for the people. Funds were collected from the people in order to provide services from door to door. Nayabazar Club Kirtipur has been continuously running this service since September 1994.

Background Information

During the early 1990’s there was not even one public telephone booth in Kirtipur. There were only 5 or 6 private telephone lines. The roads were off except two kilometers. People living in the area were utilizing the buses operated for university students and personnel which were crowded. People had to walk for about an hour in order to get these buses from the Chamapadevi area. This made things very difficult to reach a hospital.   We could see patients, being carried on stretchers from Champadevi, Matchhegaun, Bhatkyapati, Lantol, Bosan, Charghare, Salyansthan, Jhulpokhari through Kirtipur Nayabazar. We also saw scenes of heartbreak of patient's having died in the stretchers with relatives waiting or searching for transportation to rush them to the hospital.
Hospital facilities are needed and we are seeking to establish such. Being aware of these problems, Nayabazar Club members wanted to do something about this. Executive committee members clarified the absolute necessity of providing an ambulance to solve the problems of the health sector. The General Assembly was called upon to establish and ambulance service.  The majority of the members passed agenda resolution to buy a "Maruti Gipsy Ambulance" and to collaborate with "Plan International". 
We communicated with Plan International but found no funds for this kind of health service. Club president Mr. Prakash Maharjan proposed to collect Rs. 100 from each house in Kirtipur. Immediate parliament members, area members of Kathmandu District, VDC chairmen, public school chairman, club advisors, social welfares etc. discussed the proposal. We all committed to form a management committee to disseminate this information in the Kathmandu sector south. Then 15 members Sector South Public Ambulance Service Management Committee had formed in the coordination Naya Bazar Club president.

In 1993 October 2, a Saturday we organized a mass rally from Kirtipur Nayabazar. Most of the organizations and schools distributed pamphlets, "Help to Run Ambulance Service" through Panga, Nagaun.  We closed the historical rally at Bagh Bhairab. Mr. Narayan Maharjan of the Ambulance Management Action Committee gave a vote of thanks for this grand success. The rally was great and just like a movement. It was clear how people were seeking an ambulance for this area.

After the day Plan International invited members of the club to discuss the ambulance matter. Plan agreed to mutual cooperation with Nayabazar Club. Plan was also for enhancement of the social and economic status of people in Kirtipur.

Plan proposed the use of a Toyota Land Cruiser to run as an ambulance which had been garaged after an accident in Dharan. The Club didn't have the capability to recondition the Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser and our proposal was for an Indian Maruti Gypsy. The Club refused Plan’s proposal indicating that reconditioning the Japanese Land Cruiser would be more expensive than buying a new Indian Maruti Gypsy.

Plan International held another meeting at which they proposed that they would provide funds for vehicle reconditioning with the condition that the Ambulance Management Committee must do the work at the vehicle at Toyota Auto Workshop at Sinamangal and that it must operate for at least 5 years. The MOU was agreed to by both sides. In 1994 April  Wednesday, Coordinator of Ambulance Management Committee Mr. Prakash Maharjan, Development Officer Mr. Jujubhai Maharjan and Programme Manager Mr. Gajendra K.C. from  Plan International signed the MOU. In this way, the Toyota Land Cruiser became the first Sector South Public Ambulance.

The proposal only covered 9 VDC’s, i.e.Chithu Bihar, Layeku, Paliphal, Bahirigaun, Champadevi, Bishnudevi, Balkumari, Chobhar Bhutkhel and Machhegaun for  the ambulance service.  But the service is also running in neighboring VDCs, e.g. Chalnakhel, Pharping, Tinthana, Satungal, Balabu, Naikap as well as inside the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Other areas have also requested this ambulance service since this is an emergency service the area is difficult to limit.

Ambulance Service Operating System

Unlike other social services, ambulance service does not have fixed starting and ending time operating 24/7. The Toyota Land Cruiser was supposed to be registered in the name of sector south public ambulance service committee. But this committee was not admitted in the District office and Social service coordination council. It was therefore decided to register the service in the name Nayabazar Club.
29 December 2012, in the gracious presence of the advisors Prof. Dr. Ram Krishna Maharjan and Prof. Dr. Shree Krishna Shrestha the special general assembly on of the Club was held for seeking future corridor of the Club. The Assembly has decided to scrap now unusable Toyota ambulance which was donated by Plan International and reconditioned by Nayabazar Club 19 years ago. Scrap amount will be transferred to the Ambulance Fund. Now onward, only the Tata ambulance will be in operation donated by German Nepalese Help Association (GNHA) established in Stuttgart, Germany.

 

Naya Bazar Club, Kirtipur-3, Kathmandu, Nepal. Telephone: +977 1 4330200, Website: www.nbc.org.np 
All Rights Reserved © Naya Bazar Club 2012.