The patients who are escorted in the ambulance of rescuer Naran Saengsinchai can feel some solace snuggling Doraemon plush toys and rest easy on bright blue Doraemon sheets.
Naran, 38, has volunteered for Chonburi’s Peaw Yeang Foundation since he was 13. Born in a Thai-Chinese family, he was sent by his grandmother to join a rescue team as a way for the young Naran to better his behavior.
The photos of his Doraemon-themed ambulance went viral last night, giving the local rescuer a spotlight he much deserved. Naran has been contacted by several news programs for interviews.
“I’ve encountered many accidents. When the children come into the ambulance, they usually get very scared,” Naran said, when asked why he decided to revamp his standard ambulance.
“So, I thought, why don’t we decorate the car with Doraemon accessories to draw smiles on the patients and make them worry less about their wounds? The children love it, so do the adults,” he told Coconuts.
Despite receiving no salary for the job, Naran, who now owns a tool shop, got attached to the rescue mission. He bought this ambulance with his own money, so he could rescue Chonburi locals, with the help of other volunteers of the foundation.
“When I was young and volunteering, I wanted to help more people, but I didn’t have a car. Now I’m a grown-up and have money. I want to give something back to society,” he said.
Naran rescues those in accidents daily, but the locals who need a lift to the hospital can also ask him for a free ride.
The burning question, however, is why Doraemon?
“My friend said another foundation already has a Hello Kitty ambulance. So I chose Doraemon. I think everybody loves Doraemon!” he told Coconuts in a cheerful voice.
We later found the pictures of the Hello Kitty ambulance of the Mae Tubtim Foundation, which is based in Yala, one of the southernmost provinces.