We ordered this Tata Sumo 4x4 SE directly from Tata Motors. It took a lot of effort to convince Tata Motors to supply us with this vehicle, as it is not a popular production model like the two-wheel drive version.
They finally relented to supply it when we explained the work of our charity and that the 4x4 was absolutely required to reach patients and save lives across the difficult terrain.
After waiting a further three months to have it manufactured, it finally arrived at the beginning of September 2016.
The cost of the vehicle including insurance and road licence has come to £9500. It immediately went into daily service - going to Adivasi villages and taking patients the long distance to Raipur. Our ambulance driver Amal and our staff are over the moon with it and very grateful to the FMS for funding it.
Amal works on a voluntary basis. He is on call 24/7 and drives the vehicle anywhere, across rivers and swamps, through the unpaved terrain of the Chhattisgarh jungle, even into areas considered too unsafe by other people.
The ambulance service costs approximately £100 in upkeep and fuel every month and has saved hundreds of lives since its inauguration.
We are very grateful for any support we receive towards this wonderful service.