Impact India Foundation’s Lifeline Express (LLE), a hospital inside a train or a hospital on train wheels, also known as Jeevan Rekha Express, made a halt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) platform No. 13. The train, with a cheery, colourful exterior, is the world’s first multi-specialty hospital train on rails. The project was endorsed by the Indian government in 1991 to provide surgical and medical services to the disabled and needy population in the under-served rural areas and what are known as the ‘aspirational districts’ of India.
It has dual operation theatres (OTs) and houses five operating tables, three dental chairs, a gynaecology clinic and a pathology laboratory, along with accessories to conduct quality, specialised surgeries to restore sight and hearing, cleft lip and orthopaedic deformities, dental abnormalities and more.
Since 1991, the express train has been involved in projects in more than 160 districts across 26 Indian states to touch the lives of more than 30 lakh patients. The LLE sees the participation of senior specialty faculty who perform surgeries, for millions of disabled persons across rural India, on board the train.
The LLE treats around 8000+ beneficiaries at each location for orthopaedic and facial deformities, blindness, hearing loss and dental problems, and breast, cervical and oral cancer.
The LLE has been replicated by four Lifeline Express Trains in China, two in South Africa, and by river boat hospitals in Bangladesh and Cambodia. This train will move on now to Muzaffarpur district in Bihar, said Rita Pauro, project manager at the Express.