Nagpur: It’s true that there are black marketeers lurking all over the country forcing people, gasping for breath, die without having oxygen support during the critical stages of Covid-19 treatment. However, there are also people like Pyare Khan who can spend nearly Rs 1 Crore from his pocket to arrange for oxygen tankers to treat Covid patients in Nagpur and Vidarbha region.
“How can I charge for something like this?” This was business tycoon Pyare Khan’s reply when asked about his benevolent approach.
Pyare Khan was an auto rickshaw driver and an orange seller from Nagpur whose fairytale story of becoming a top-notch businessman with turnover to the tunes of Rs 400 Crore is now known to many.
The “Rags to Riches” story of Pyare Khan is not only inspirational but heart touching too. Born in a poor family, Khan grew up in a slum and nothing came easy for him in life. His father was a small-time grocer while mother did odd jobs to feed him and his other three siblings.
From a very young age, he started selling oranges in the Nagpur railway station to make the family meet both ends.
Forty-one-year-old Khan had kicked off his transport business with a single truck, after having secured a Rs 11 lakh loan from ING Vysya Bank back in 2004. Khan was only 26 at that time and was an auto-driver.
His new business grew substantially with each passing day, and now he is a proud owner of 125 trucks. Besides this, Khan runs over 3,000 trucks on hire daily to ferry steel and infrastructure across India and abroad under his company Ashmi Road Transport Pvt Ltd registered in 2013.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Khan arranged Oxygen tankers to Nagpur following calls from Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and from the local administration. Over 205 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) were received to treat patients in Nagpur and Vidarbha region thanks to Khan.
Khan’s efforts were hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top corporate Anand Mahindra, Congress leader Digvijay Singh, actor Paresh Rawal. The transporter had to arrange a total of 19 tankers to move the cargo to Nagpur from various parts of the country.
Soon after SOS calls, Khan swung into action to procure oxygen tankers from cities like Bellary, Rourkela and Bhilai at prices much higher than the market rate. He himself donated over 100 oxygen concentrators to the Nagpur Medical College.
Khan is one of several do-gooders who are doing their bit to extend a helping hand for the Covid-hit people of the country. He stated that it was his duty to ‘zakat’ during the holy month of Ramzan to help the needy.
Khan’s benevolence was recognised long back when he won the top prize in a contest for young transport entrepreneurs, organised by IIM-Ahmedabad and Mahindra Truck &Bus.