India's Hospital Train
Changing lives with India's hospital-on-rails
In rural India, a train decked out as a hospital is providing free healthcare and surgery to the country’s most remote communities. For the surgeons working on board, it's a tough but rewarding challenge.
“Mouth cancer, eye problems, ear problems. Cleft lips. All this will be treated for free at our railway station.” A crier announces the arrival of the Lifeline Express in Latur, Eastern Mahrashtara. The express is a train-cum-hospital providing healthcare to rural Indian communities. Dr. Nilesh is one of two surgeons working on the train. “To operate on a train is coming out of your comfort zone...but we have to put up with the limitations if we are to serve the people.” Hundreds of people flock from nearby villages to receive treatment. Not all will get it, but for the lucky ones, the results can be life-changing. Virat and Aditya both have cerebral palsy, but after surgery on the train, both are now expected to walk again. “We feel all our problems are over now”, says their father.