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India's hospital train lifeline express.

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About this work


This documentary looks at all aspects of a unique rail service, the Lifeline Express, which brings valuable medical care to the poor people of rural India. Founded by Sir John Wilson the train has 6 regular members of staff but relies on volunteer surgeons and anaesthetists to perform all operations. It aims to spend 4 weeks in each location it visits performing a week of ear surgeries, a week of polio surgeries, a week of lip surgeries and a week of eye surgeries. We join the train as it pulls into Mandsor station, central India. Surgery is performed on 11-year-old Dashrath who is gradually going deaf, 17-year-old Sapna whose foot is disabled from polio, 1-year-old Shiva and 11-year-old Vishal who have cleft palates and on an elderly woman with a cataract. We also hear about the various problems the train encounters such as a major Punjab protest which closes down much of the train line between Mumbai and Delhi, and problems finding beds in the local hospital for post-operative care. Insight is also provided into the social and economic backgrounds of each of the patients and the way the surgery changes their lives.


UK : BBC 4, 2009.

Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, color, PAL



Broadcast on 26 March, 2009.

Creator/production credits

Written produced and directed by Gerry Troyna.

Copyright note

3Di Television



  • English

Where to find it

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