Nagpur: Self-made billionaire Pyare Khan from Nagpur, Maharashtra has spent Rs 85 lakh to ensure 400 metric tonnes of medical liquid oxygen reaches government hospitals in and around Nagpur at a time when the nation continues to grapple with a severe shortage of medical oxygen.
Pyare Khan, a leading transporter, has been providing oxygen to hospitals for saving the lives of several Covid-19 patients. He has provided 32 tonnes of oxygen till now.
The administration has promised to pay him for oxygen transportation, but he declined it saying the expenditure was his duty-bound 'zakat' during the holy month of Ramzan. He says the expenditure on oxygen is his service to humanity in the time of crisis.
Pyare Khan said, "it is painful to see our people are dying due to shortage of oxygen. Alhamdulillah, I have the resources and made use of them and provided 2 tankers of oxygen-containing 16 tonnes each to Government Medical College in Nagpur".
What led him to this path of mercy was that he had to look back on his own life to see the tears of those who were suffering. Pyare Khan was born and raised in a slum in Tajbagh, Nagu. His father ran a one-room shop in the slums. In 1995, he was selling oranges in front of the Nagpur railway station.
Through hard work, he has now become the owner of a transport company with assets worth Rs 400 crore today. Ashmi Transport Company, owned by Pyare Khan, today has a network of 2,000 trucks across India. It also has offices in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
He said there were plans to airlift oxygen tankers from Brussels if needed. So far, they have provided more than 500 oxygen cylinders and 116 oxygen concentrators to various hospitals and 360 cylinders have been made available through Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
He has also delivered two cryogenic gas tankers from Bangalore three times as much as he needed. Moreover, many oxygen tankers did not stop bargaining when asked for double the price. He had to pay up to Rs 14 lakh for a trip.
"Getting tankers is the biggest challenge as of now. I am arranging for tankers from different places and sending them to places like Raipur, Rourkela and Bhilai to get them filled with liquid oxygen for the district and surrounding areas," said Pyare Khan, whose rags to riches story has been a case study for IIM Ahmedabad students.