Hyderabad: Forget celebrity philanthropists, meet 84-year-old 'Chacha’ who has embarked on a unique journey to ferry the sick and ailing for free in his auto-rickshaw.

Mohammed Haneef Saheb, who is lovingly called Haneef Chacha has ferried almost 3000 patients from hospitals in the last three years. Every day after dropping students at schools, he parks his auto outside the hospitals and looks for patients in need.

“I am not doing this for the poor or rich. I am doing this for Humanity. I treat all patients equally. I don’t want their money, I just want their blessings” said Chacha.

Chacha’s daily routine starts with picking Nasr School Kids from Gachibowli and dropping them at Sanath Nagar. Later he picks up college students and drops them at their destinations.

In the free time, he roams around the hospitals to offer free service to the patients. “My auto doesn’t have any boards because that will be unnecessary publicity. I just tell the people if they require my free service. Later they spread the word,” he said.

Some patients and attendants even offer him money, but he politely refuses. “I am old now. I worked hard for my kids. They are now graduates. Now I want to do something for society. For the last three years, I am running a free auto-ambulance service”, he said.

Chacha’ has a rare honour of travelling to the holy city of Mecca on a bicycle in 2006. “I approached many MLAs and MPs and even met Sonia Gandhi. I could not get permission. Later former president APJ Abdul Kalam came to my rescue”, he said.

After Kalam’s intervention, he was granted permission by the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “It took me almost nine months to complete the journey. I travelled through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, before arriving in Saudi Arabia. Some offered me shelter and some offered food”, he said.

Come 2021, the 84-year-old wants to repeat the feat. Let’s wish him luck.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter as a "Factcheck Freelancer". A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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