It was a simple dream. All it wanted was that people should not, through neglect or ignorance, become disabled or crippled, and thus robbed of health, productivity and joy, and that disabled persons especially in rural India should have access to medical services wherever they be.
On 16th of July, 1991, this dream came true, when Impact India's Lifeline Express, the world's first hospital on a train, was launched.
Upto December 2010, over 600,000 disabled poor in rural India have so far benefited from the remarkable train, and other countries have come forward to start their Lifeline Express on which major surgeries have been performed to restore movement, hearing, sight and correction of clefts with the help of the donated skills and services of over 80,000 surgeons, to make this dream possible.
The internationally acclaimed Lifeline Express has become a model for transfer of appropriate technology to other countries to set up similar projects in China, Central Africa and river boat hospitals in Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Mumbai, July 16, 2012. The Lifeline Express, the world’s first hospital on a train, also known as the Magic Train of India, celebrates 21 years of service to the poor and underprivileged masses of rural India. The train, which is the flagship of Impact India Foundation, in partnership with the Indian Railways, has medically served more than 700,000 poor in rural India, restoring sight, movement, hearing and correction of cleft lips with dental and neurological treatment and more, completely free of cost.
For the past 21 years, with the vision of the founding fathers and the active partnership of the Indian Railways, as well as the help and goodwill of thousands of donors, well-wishers and medical persons from the world over, the Lifeline Express has made a true impact on the lives of the rural people of India. With the continued support of the Indian Railways, this day serves as a pledge to continue to help make a difference to the lives of our people. The Lifeline Express has the distinction of being the first ever hospital-on-rails in the world. Brightly coloured on the outside with rainbows and flowers, the hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipment to cater to the needs of the rural patients – “A Surgeon’s Dream”.
In spite of scarce resources, Impact is determined to carry on in the service of the disabled poor of rural India, and it appeals to the Government, the corporate sector and others to offer their helping hands in this time of need.