VVS Laxman lauds lady auto driver who drove recovered COVID-19 nurse 140 km home

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Image Courtesy: PTI/The Better India
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The novel Coronavirus pandemic has seen a number of sportspersons and celebrities taking a step forward to assist the needy people of the society, be it monetary help or with providing necessary commodities. However, a female auto rickshaw driver has set a new example. Meet Eche Laibi Oinam, a lady auto driver from Imphal, Manipur who drove 140 kms at night to drop a COVID-19 discharged nurse to her home, and receives acclamation from none other than Indian cricketing legend VVS Laxman!

Image Courtesy: PTI/The Better India

The exemplary incident took place back in May. With the start of unlock 1.0 in the country, which imposed a curfew from 9 pm to 5 am, movement of people were restricted between the time frame.

Meanwhile, Somichon Chithung, a 22 year old female nurse, who was a patient of COVID-19 and was discharged from the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal on the night of 31st May. However, due to the curfew in place, the hospital ambulance service was refusing to drop her back home, because she is from another district.

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In such a troubling moment, Eche Laibi Oinam appeared as the saviour. The female auto driver took the endeavour to take Chithung back to her home in Skipe village, which was located in the Kamjong district, an 140 km long eight hour journey through the foggy night.

Now, former Team India opener VVS Laxman has paid his respect towards Oinam for her generosity.

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“Eche Laibi Oinam,a lady auto-driver from Imphal, dropped a recovered Covid19 Nurse home driving 140 kms @ night after her discharge from a hospital even as others refused service. She drove the entire night to drop the nurse safely at her destination.
Kudos to her selfless service,” the 45 year old posted on Instagram today, along with a photo of Oinam and her auto rickshaw.

“I was happy that I was at least there for the girl to help, though we were strangers to each other then,” Oinam, mother of two, spoke to EastMojo in an interview.

Oinam’s selfless effort to assist the patient in distress was also recognised soon by Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, who rewarded her with Rs 1.10 lakh back in June.

Oinam is also the first female auto driver of Manipur, and operates from the Pangei Bazaar auto stand in Imphal East.

“People once laughed at me, taunted and called me names. I felt humiliated. But I had little choice,” the lady, now in her fifties, said in in interview in September 2019. A documentary film titled ‘Auto Driver’ was made based on Oinam’s life, and won multiple awards.

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