Jamshedpur: Tata Steel hosted the 53rd project of the Lifeline Express today at Jassidih (Deoghar). Of the last 52 projects since the inception of the Lifeline Express in 1991, Tata Steel has hosted the train six times previously in various parts of India, the maximum number of times by any Indian corporate house.
The Lifeline Express, a hospital train promoted by Impact India, has been taking modern medical services to the rural hinterland of India with the help of corporate houses, NGOs and, in some places, the local district administration.
Launched on July 16, 1991, the Lifeline Express epitomises an international initiative which began in England under the able guidance of Sir John Wilson, senior consultant to Impact Worldwide, a British NGO.
India was chosen as a site for the global launch of this unique initiative as the country had the capacity to tackle disability prevention and has, in fact, developed a number of low-cost technologies that are useful in preventing disabilities. With technical and managerial support from Voltas, a leading company of the Tata group, Impact India was set up in 1983.
Eight years later, with the Indian Railways and Voltas playing a major role, this unique model for India's disabled was launched. Thus began a journey to improve the lives of those afflicted with post-polio deformities, hearing disorders and eye problems. Having completed a decade of service to the nation, a fourth discipline has been added, corrective surgery for cleft lip and minor burn contractures.
The seventh Lifeline Express was formally inaugurated by Babulal Marandi, the chief minister of Jharkhand, on February 23 in the presence of Dinesh Saranagi, minister for heath, Jharkhand, Ravinder Rai, minister for mines and geology, Jharkhand, Pradip Yadav, minister for rural development, Jharkhand, B Muthuraman, managing director Tata Steel, AN Singh, deputy managing director (corporate services), Tata Steel, and other senior divisional and district government officials.