With a passion for helping others, a group of volunteers have formed to help pick nails from the streets and fix punctures on motorbikes traveling on the highway that connects Ho Chi Minh City with the coastal city of Vung Tau.
Nguyen Huu Loi, a 25-year-old financial advisor and a passionate biker, decided to form the group out of his understanding of the difficulties bikers face when they suffer flat tires whilst traveling at night.
Calling the group “117,” its members also run a hotline at 0911 131 117, which anyone can call if they suffer a puncture.
Every group member is assigned different tasks. When there is a call for help, two members will come to the scene. One will check and fix the tire’s inner tube, while the other will hold the flashlight and give appropriate instructions.
If the tube needs to be replaced, the group will charge VND50,000 (US$2.2), the exact market price.
The group starts its work every night from 8:00 pm, gathering near the toll station close to the Tam Phuoc Industrial Zone in the southern province of Dong Nai and stays alert, ready for help.
On average, the group provides help to one or two people per night. All fuel costs and other related expenses are shared by the volunteer members.
When the group was first established, there were only a few members and no uniform. Now they are a team of 15, with all members wearing uniforms and protective vests.
“I hope that people who get help can provide help to others, making it a better society,” Loi said.
Bikers in southern Vietnam going through this area have expressed their gratitude to the members of the 117 Group. They hope that the group can maintain their selfless activity.
One man named Binh, who has suffered multiple flat tires on the highway, said he used to push his motorbike for a few kilometers before being able to find a repair shop.
“I am so happy that we now have the 117 group there to help,” Binh said.