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Air India spreads wings to fly critical Bangladesh patients to Mumbai for treatment

April 02, 2017

The human face of Air India came to the fore yet again, as the national carrier spread out its wings to fly three young Bangladesh citizens, suffering from a critical condition of muscular dystrophy, for treatment at a Mumbai speciality hospital along with three of their relatives. The three patients and three persons accompanying them took today evening’s flight from Kolkata to Mumbai reiterating Air India’s commitment to serve humanity without commercial interest – going beyond mere geo-political confines.
AI773 took off from Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport with the six Bangladesh nationals amongst other passengers – bringing a ray of hope to the patients suffering from a rare medical condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The saga of Abdus, Rahinul and Shorab aged 24, 14 and 8 respectively, goes back to their birth when they were diagnosed with this crippling disease. It grabbed attention when their family pleaded with the Bangladesh Government for the mercy killing of the three for failing to continue with their treatment due to acute financial crisis. Having exhausted their savings, and selling off all their property, the ultimate step for the plea of mercy killing was taken.
Destiny, however, had another script for them as Meditourz - a Mumbai-based organization specializing in such diseases in collaboration with NeuroGen- a Brain & Spine Institute based at Navi Mumbai flashed a beacon of hope for the patients. Dr Alok Sharma, a renowned neurosurgeon who specializes in treatment for neurological disorders, volunteered to offer free treatment to these patients at his stemcell hospital and research centre NeoroGen. Air India headquarters was requested to fly these patients with their companions free of charge to Mumbai, and in no time the airline swung into action for the noble cause. If successful, this initiative can give a fresh lease of life to the three Bangladesh patients.
Air India, today, ensured the three wheelchair-bound patients with their three companions could fly to Mumbai from the Kolkata airport after they drove in to Kolkata from Dhaka by extending unstinted support and care for these special passengers. Senior Air India executives were present at the airport to hand over the boarding cards with a word of encouragement to the passengers.
"We wish to think Air India for its kind gesture of arranging the air travel for three patients from Bangladesh and their family to come to NeuroGen Institute for treatment and for their return after initial treatment,” said Dr Alok Sharma. Earlier, the Bangladesh Government and the Bangladesh Human Rights Group had pitched in to ensure that they got Visas and documents to travel to India for the treatment.
Air India has always risen to the occasion and extended exemplary humanitarian service with its care and concern for passenger wellbeing. There have been innumerable occasions when flights are diverted and medical emergency landings made top save a passenger's life. Besides, on many occasions to save the life of passengers getting ill onboard, Air India made a dramatic operation carrying a "live heart” on several occasions from Bangalore to Chennai, Madurai to Chennai and Trichy to Chennai in the recent past. Air India has proved time and again that selfless service comes before immediate commercial considerations led by a firm belief of every Air Indian that"If we don’t, then who will?

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