GUNTUR: As Health Minister Vidadala Rajini is set to conduct Bhoomi Puja for the construction of the Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) on the premises of Guntur Government General Hospital (GGH) on Friday, the spotlight is on Dr Uma Devi Gavini, who has donated all her life savings towards making the hospital a reality.
Dr Uma, a native of Guntur pursued her MBBS in 1965 at Guntur Medical College. After completing her education, she moved to the US and is currently working as an immunologist and allergy specialist. She has been an active member of the Guntur Medical College Alumni Association, North America (GMCANA) and held charge as its president in 2008.
Her husband Dr Kanuri Ramachandra, also a doctor, passed away three years ago. The couple has no children. She announced her decision to donate her savings and property, all valued at Rs 20 crore, for the construction of the hospital at the 17th reunion of GMCANA held in Dallas in September.
GMCANA Chief Coordinator Dr Bala Bhaskar said, “Dr Uma Devi is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met. She has always been very involved in the association’s work, especially in constructing and developing various healthcare facilities.”
The hospital will come up in a 2.69 lakh sq feet area on the premises of Guntur GGH at an estimated cost of 86.80 crore. The G+5 building with modern infrastructure will have as many as 597 beds, including 300 beds in the maternity ward, 200 beds in the child care unit, 27 in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), 30 SICU and 40 in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Besides, 30 classrooms and an assembly hall with a capacity of 300 people will also be constructed in the building.
The members of GMCANA suggested that the hospital be named after her to honour her valuable contribution, but she politely declined, Dr Bala said and added that they finally decided to name the facility after her late husband. After learning about the pregnant women’s woes at the GGH due to the lack of beds and basic amenities, GMCANA took up the project to construct the hospital in 2014.
In 2018, it was decided that the State government will contribute Rs 35 crore and GMCANA would provide Rs 30 crore for the construction. However, work was halted due to various reasons. So, the members of GMCANA decided to completely fund the project and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the State government in June this year.
Dr Bala said the selfless act of Dr Uma inspired several doctors and people as donations kept pouring in after she announced her decision.