MUMBAI: Among the umpteen facilities one may expect at a Covid care centre, the last would be a library. And that’s what makes this facility in Navi Mumbai unique.
A full-fledged library for Covid patients, who otherwise get confined to their bed for almost two weeks without having any scope for entertainment, has been set up by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC).
With their movement restricted due to health issues and protocols, the inmates of this facility are now hooked onto books to pass time. Abhijeet Bangar, chief of NMMC, told this newspaper that the aim of setting up a library in the Covid care centre is to divert the patients’ attention from negativity and engage them in reading.
“Patients stay for more than ten days, so they can read as many as books. Also, this will reduce the time they otherwise spend on watching random things in smart phone,” he said adding that they have put a variety of titles at the library. A first-of-its-kind initiative, the temporary library at the Covid centre at the CIDCO Exhibition ground has been set up with the support of Let’s Read India foundation.
“It is possible that some patients may lose hope while fighting the deadly virus. The impact can be worse when they are away from family. The books can give them solace and divert their thoughts,” said Prafulla Wankhede from Let’s India Read foundation.
“We have got an excellent collection of books in Marathi, Hindi and English for Covid patients.” Sachin Jadhav, who is part of the NMMC team that supervises the care centre, said they got the idea while interacting with some patients.
“While talking to patients, we found that some of them had brought books from home. This was a thoughtprovoking moment.” Bangar said he is confident that many inmates would continue to enjoy books even after returning home. “When they leave this place, we want the ‘reading virus’ to be imbibed in them,” said Bangar who plans to start similar initiatives in the other Covid care centres.