Karimul Haque works in a tea garden in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal – and uses his motorbike to take people from Dhalabari and other nearby villages to hospitals and clinics, free of cost. There is a primary health centre at Kranti, about six kilometres from Dhalabari, but it has limited facilities. The area does not have a regular four-wheel ambulance service.
Karimul’s unique ‘bike ambulance’ and mobile number (for calls from people in need of medical help) have become very popular in the villages, and his service is known even among local doctors, police personnel and block officials.
From his tea estate job, Karimul earns Rs. 4,000 every month. He keeps aside 25 percent of his salary for fuel and other costs of running the bike, and another 25 percent is spent in repaying a bank loan. Karimul does not hanker for more money; he believes that Allah will reward him for his work.
Students of the Centre for
Journalism and Mass Communication at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, first
shot this film, their very first effort, in their very first semester, in early
2016. Others have worked on almost identical themes since then around Karimul Haque, including one version that is essentially an
advertisement for an auto major. In January
this year, Haque was awarded the Padma Shri.
PARI would like to thank musician Jorge Mendez for granting us permission to use excerpts from his beautiful track 'Cold' in this student-made film.
Anasuya Chowdhury introduced the team to Karimul Haque and worked as the location manager for this film; Moumita Purakhyastha is the film's sound manager.
Both of them, as well as the three directors (credited below), are fourth semester masters’ students of Journalism and Mass Communication, Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan.